The wind blows where it wills . . . ; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. 

If you think about it, the Christian life is more like using a sailboat than a jet ski. A jet ski generates its own power, and its driver traverses the water however he likes. But a sailboat defers to the direction and power of the wind. The sailor is successful to the degree that he cooperates with the free movement of the wind. And so it is with us: our “success” in the Christian life depends on our openness to the wind of the Spirit guiding and empowering us. When we are “born of the Spirit” in Baptism, we receive the grace to move through life like that sailboat (John 3:8). It’s that grace that teaches us to cooperate with the Spirit.

There is a mystery in the wind: it “blows where it wills, . . . but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8). Similarly, the Spirit can feel quite mysterious. In today’s Gospel, Nicodemus could not wrap his mind around Jesus’ call for him to be “born from above” (3:7). We, too, may wrestle with discerning or understanding or making sense of God’s action in our lives.

Prayers that seem logical and wise are left unanswered. Plans change and unexpected situations arise. Regardless, our faith tells us that the Spirit is moving. Even in the midst of suffering, God is working (Romans 8:28). While circumstances may confuse us, God’s desire remains the same: to lead us to himself, to make us holy, and to walk alongside us always.

We cannot foresee every twist and turn of life. Living by the Spirit often requires “adjusting our sails,” letting go of the familiar, and embracing the mystery involved in following Jesus. It means not fighting the wind but yielding to the Spirit’s direction and making sure his wind is at our backs. And it means trusting that the Spirit is always there. He is our consoler, tenderly listening to our prayers. He is our guide, leading us by the hand through life’s hills and valleys. And he is our strength, filling our sails and moving us forward with the power we need to reach our heavenly home.

“Holy Spirit, I yield to you today.”

Acts 4:32-37
Psalm 93:1-2, 5
John 3:7-15


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