sail

As we are preparing to depart Tampa, I can’t help but to reminisce on all the wonderful experiences we had here in Florida. Yes, living near the theme parks is nice, but what I loved the most about Tampa are the beaches & water because I love swimming. I could be out on the water swimming & floating for 30-40 minutes at a time. I love everything about the ocean: swimming, fishing & just looking at the horizon. Our God creates beautiful things.

But there is one experience that I could never forget. It was sailing. I only got to experience it once, and I was just a passenger. I believe it was a 29 foot sail boat. It felt larger.

I have to confess that when I used to hear these mega church pastors having expensive hobbies like sailing, I was critical. But that day, my attitude toward sailing & sailors completely changed because when the sails caught the wind, and when the boat was going full speed, there was only one word to describe what I was feeling. It was FREEDOM!

I could see why someone would want to just keep going & not stop. It was exhilarating! And as we were sailing toward the beautiful sunset of the Gulf of Mexico, we saw a few dolphins playing around us, and I couldn’t help but to think this is how it should be as we plunge into the sea of God’s will. You may be overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean, even afraid of not knowing what is underneath, but when that powerful wind comes to carry you through, you forget about where you are & who you are. You let the power of the wind take you where you can never go on your own. All you need to do is just BE.

I know nothing about sailing, but I could guess that the key to successful sailing is the wind or how you adjust your sails to the wind. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for the Spirit is ruach, which means spirit, breath & WIND. I’m sure you may guess where I am going with this.

If we desire exhilaration, joy, beauty & freedom, we must let the WIND carry us. We must let the Spirit lead us. He does not have to adjust to our ego, ambition or plan. It is always us who have to adjust.

I feel that this is what’s missing in modern Christianity. Throughout the year, we have numerous conferences & seminars to teach pastors & church leaders how to have a successful church, build a mega-church membership, how to have a fruitful fund raising campaign & so forth, but where are high profile conferences on seeking God’s will or on prayer?

The reason why such conferences are rare is because the outcome of catching the WIND cannot be predicted or controlled, and it’s important to our minds that everything be reduced to a formula or several steps, so that we are the ones who are in control. But the truth is we only think we have control.

Here are simple questions.

Which has the power, the sail boat or the wind?

What moves the sail boat, the sailor or the wind?

Now, who is in control?

Maybe the answers are too hard for us to swallow, but just like sailing when we allow the Spirit to move us, then I am certain that He will take us to places that we never could on our own.

Our plans are predictable, and there’s nothing new under the sun, but God is creative, unpredictable & powerful!

After His ascension, when Jesus told His disciples to go back to Jerusalem to the upper room, I’m sure they thought about doing other things like moving away from the very place where Jesus was convicted & crucified. But Acts 2 reveals that was the ordained place they had to be to catch the WIND.

Acts 2:2-4 explain, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit,” and the rest is history… HIS STORY.

As we are nearing out departure to Tampa, there is so much that we don’t know. But maybe that’s not a bad place to be because we have no choice, but to wait for God’s guidance & the Spirit’s promptings.

It’s our prayer that our time in Taiwan will be defined by waiting, adjusting & following the Spirit of truth.