A couple of weeks ago, I was in San Antonio for the EFCA's annual theology conference. While KC was getting dustings of snow, San Antonio still has dried leaves falling from trees and blowing in the warm breeze.
During one of the breaks, I went outside to enjoy being outdoors without having to put on layers. I picked a sunny spot on the curb of the parking lot and sat down.
To my left, I noticed that the gutters of the curbs were filled with dead leaves that the wind had collected. They were unmoving, hiding from the wind, snug against the curb. Predictable. And numerous. Technically, these leaves were free, but they were going nowhere.
Then I noticed the leaves in the middle of the parking lot, dancing in swirls in the wind. None of these leaves were aware of the pattern they followed, and none were in control, and yet they were beautifully coordinated.
The only difference between the two kinds of leaves was which were catching the wind.
Our Christian lives can be like those leaves in the gutter - unmoving, safe, snug, predictable, but going nowhere. And more numerous. Or our lives can be like the leaves that catch the wind, not in control or aware of the pattern before us, but beautifully coordinated by God's Spirit.
John 3:5-8: 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”