On our last day, we decided to cross two things off our bucket list, parasailing and sailing on the ocean. If you look closely, this picture from the beach captures both activities, and no the sailboat wasn’t pulling the parasail. They were very different experiences, but the common thread was the excitement and power of the wind.
First, we went parasailing. When they took us out, the wind was blowing strong from the east. When we got far from the shore they turned the boat into the wind. Then we put on harnesses and they hooked us up to a parachute. The wind lifted us up, and we would have blown away if not for the rope attached to the boat. They let out more rope and we rose so high the people on the beach looked like insects. Parasailing was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.
Then we went sailing. We waded out and climbed into the sailboat. The pilot deftly adjusted the sails turning the boat out to the ocean. The wind quickly filled the sails and soon we were speeding across the waves. Each wave showered us with sea water. Sailing was also a thrilling experience, and both ended too soon.
Since then I have had a lot of time to think about the joy and exhilaration of those events. As I said, they shared a common thread of the excitement and power of the wind. The Greek word used for “wind” and “spirit” is “pneuma”. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “wind” and “spirit” is “ruakh”.
The strong wind lifted us up and powered us forward just like the Holy Spirit can empower our lives. For the Spirit to work we must climb on board with God, get connected, and trust God for the ride of our life. Our life must be turned the right way toward God, and sometimes we must adjust our sails to go in the right direction following God’s will, and yet again it takes courage and faith to enjoy the ride.
We can sit on the beach and watch all the joy and excitement pass us by, or we can join in. Imagine all of us sailing and parasailing in the winds of the Spirit. With God that is possible. I will see you in church. Remember, God loves us more than we can ever imagine, and I love you too!