One breezy summer day when I was fifteen, my father gave me the task of sweeping leaves from the sidewalk in front of our house. As I set to work, I became frustrated, because it seemed that for every foot cleared along the way, the wind pushed the leaves back twice as far in the opposite direction. My father drew alongside me and took the broom, and told me I was sweeping leaves against the wind. He demonstrated how the job became much easier by sweeping in the same direction it was already going.
When our Heavenly Father shows us how to do things, He allows us to see where He’s already at work, revealing how we can move in the same direction. When we try to take control and make them happen our way – opposing His – things seem to be twice as hard. Who needs to make a difficult job even harder?
Once I took on planning a picnic for a small church where I was new. Although the church had a bunch of traditions in place for the annual event, I decided to change things up. Church families had been picnicking for years with hamburgers, pie, and water play. But I planned corn on the cob, children’s sack races, and a sing-along. There was a bit of tension as others voiced their protests against the new suggestions. It took me a couple of days, but I finally saw that I was the only one who wanted it my way. I needed to go with the flow and drop my ideas.
Although it may temporarily feel like defeat, there’s a moment of definitive victory when we swallow our pride and join in with what God’s already up to.
I feel a bit more peace when I put down the corn and pick up the pie. I know that sweeping leaves with the wind will ultimately benefit everyone.
What about you? In what area is God calling you to join forces with the prevailing winds of His Spirit?