You can’t outsmart the wind.
A surgeon can take your heart out of your chest, tinker with it a while, stick it back in, staple you up, and in a couple of days you’re back in your living room showing pictures to your friends on Facebook.
But no one can outsmart the wind.
We’ve sent men to the moon, we’ve grown corn in the desert, and we can turn our porch light on and off while cruising in the Caribbean.
But we can’t outsmart the wind.
In the winter, it finds every tiny fissure and pushes its chilly way through your house. It flits across your roof tugging at every shingle until it finds one not sealed tight, and with one swift whiff, half your roof lies exposed to the elements. It runs behind the rain, shoving it into every nook and cranny until everything you thought was protected is soaked through and through.
You just can’t outsmart the wind.
Go ahead, try it. Nail and staple, glue and stitch until Home Depot has nothing left to supply you. The wind will still win because it isn’t bound by your rules and logic. The wind doesn’t care that it isn’t supposed to blow from a certain direction. It doesn’t mind that you think it should only blow from side-to-side and never up or down. Science textbooks and meteorologists’ forecasts don’t impress the wind. You won’t outsmart it. You can’t harness it and make it your slave. It may cooperate for a while, but without warning, it will tire of the game and will blast through your little enterprise, leaving behind a jumbled mess to remind you of how foolish you were to ever think that you were actually in control.
You never were in control. The wind was toying with you the way a cat taunts a june bug.
The spirit of rebellion that is ripping apart our nation works the same way.
Our national leaders are empowering these isolated rebellions because it fuels their political agendas. Athletes are getting caught up in the fervor, refusing to respect the flag or stand for our National Anthem. Aimless youth who’ve never been given the chance to find and pursue the purpose of their own lives, interpret all of this as a green light to maim and destroy anything in their paths.
And they all tell themselves that their cause justifies their rebellion.
But the truth?
You can’t harness a rebellion.
It will go where you never intended. It will hurt people you never wanted to see suffer. And one day, it will turn on those who fueled and fed it.
Your skin may be black or white, but hatred and disrespect are transparent. They blend perfectly with every skin tone. And every human has the ability to generate a generous supply of both – if he or she so chooses. And when hate is given permission to rebel, it will spread like a grass fire in the dry California mountains, hopping fire breaks and leaping roadways, caring nothing about the lives displaced or lost by its senseless passion.
You can’t harness the wind and you can’t contain the spirit of rebellion. Like the wind, rebellion will shove its way inside places you thought you’d made secure. Like the wind, rebellion never gets tired, but relentlessly pushes and spins in every direction. And like the wind, rebellion can turn in a heartbeat and howl right back in your face.
The only hope for a nation caught-up in the spirit of rebellion is for the strong wind of the Holy Spirit to blow fierce against it. Fueled by love instead of hate, the Holy Ghost will destroy the spirit of rebellion. But someone has to want it to.
I’m angry at what rebellion is making of my country. I’m sickened by the fear I see on children’s faces as they watch and listen to the reports of lawless rebels preying on the innocent. I can allow my anger to simmer – or I can let it motivate me to pray.
I know that’s a trite statement. I’m almost embarrassed to use it. Because we all say that’s what we should do, but we never get around to doing it. Prayer meetings remain the least attended of all church events. Preachers would rather listen to each other preach for an hour than to pray together for thirty minutes.
We really need to stop talking about praying and start praying. Seriously. Earnestly. Fervently. Often.
If we did, the wind of the Spirit would be blowing. And we would feel it.
Because you can’t harness the wind.