"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going." John 3.8
Look out the window and it is another overcast day, with leaden skies and a stiff breeze. Time to reach for the pullover or cagoule. But step outside and it is like being wrapped in a warm embrace. It is the wind direction that makes all the difference. The prevailing south-westerly, with its chilly Atlantic draw, has been temporarily replaced by the less familiar continental flow from the south-east. What a difference it would make to the Hebridean summer if one could harness it!
But as Jesus observes in the quote above, recorded by John, the wind eludes our attempts at control. The nearest we get is to borrow its strength to fill sails, power turbines, lift aeroplanes. Beyond that, we defer to its wild-ness. So it is with the Spirit, only he is not an inanimate force but the so-called third person of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We can know God in the familiar relationships of parent and child/ brother. But, as Spirit, he is beyond our knowing - like the wind.
Intriguingly, Jesus adds to his remark; "So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Really? Is there in us, who have been born again, that wild heart which cannot be tamed by the usual constraints? It is not an anarchic impulse surely but one that binds us to the transcendence of God - definitely. Unfortunately it would seem that, in too many of us, that wind blows as rarely as the south-easterly which is currently bringing such a welcome respite from the customary maritime blast. Time to change:
Thig, Spiorad Naomh... Veni Sancte Spiritus... Come Holy Spirit...