Yesterday was Windsday. I know, I know—that’s not how it’s spelled, but it is what happened yesterday.
Throughout the whole day, the wind blew at least fifteen miles an hour, sometimes with sustained winds of over thirty. There were even a number of gusts blowing at almost fifty miles an hour.
Trash cans flew over, canvas signs flapped noisily, and the black walnuts falling on the tin roof made a racket like a kid throwing rocks at a stop-sign.
The black monsters in the back yard eventually got so tired of disengaging themselves from the debris and struggling to stay upright that they spent most of the day inside their doghouse.
I wasn’t as bright as the dogs. Needing to conduct business with one of my instrument technicians, I headed out into the blowing night after work. Flying in the same direction as the wind in my pickup truck, I hardly noticed it at all. It would be an uneventful evening ride.
That was before.
Before I turned the other direction to head for home. Before I felt the buffeting wind lifting the body of my truck.
Before I began to see things.
In the wind. I saw things in the wind. Coming right at me.
It is fall in the Ozarks and the leaves are barely clinging to the branches as it is. The blustery wind needed to do little persuading to convince the trembling foliage to turn loose. The problem is, I was driving into that gusting blast.
It wasn’t only leaves that attacked me. Plastic shopping bags of all sizes danced on the wind, spinning and diving madly. In front of me and beside me, they tore past, along with other unidentifiable objects.
It was, to say the least, disconcerting. I didn’t know whether to brake the truck and creep into the wind, or dodge the debris, swerving right and left, hoping against hope that there wasn’t something solid about to crash through my windshield.
I wasn’t the only one. The scariest moment on the twenty-five-mile drive home came on a busy four-lane highway, as all of us motorists scooted for our destinations at sixty or seventy miles an hour.
In the lane beside and just ahead of me, the car suddenly swerved toward the shoulder. Looking at the road right in front of where he had been, I saw a huge mound of some sort of reflective material. Relieved that he hadn’t hit it, I continued on.
Suddenly, I realized the mound was moving quickly into my lane, shoved over in his wake. Worried about the cars in the lane beside me and riding my bumper, I held my ground, heading straight for the object as I steeled myself for an impact.
Swish! The air-filled mass of flexible plastic sucked under my truck and blew up and over the cars following me.
Only a huge plastic bag blowing on the wind! Nothing more.
Say the word. Say the word and I’ll come.
The man nicknamed The Rock was speaking to his Teacher. Impetuous and not a little blustery himself, he was sure it would be safe.
The Teacher waved a hand. Come on, then.
You know the story. Peter walked on the water. Until he noticed something. No, it wasn’t the water. He was fine with that.
Walk on water? Pssssssh! Easy stuff!
No. He saw something else. It was there when he set out. It had been there when he blurted out his challenge to the Teacher to let him walk with Him. But, now it worried him.
The wind was blowing. Hard.
What if the Teacher hadn’t figured on that when He called him? What if the wind made him lose his balance? What if he got salt water in his eyes and couldn’t see where he was going?
The wind outside has stopped blowing. The weather system moved on to the east during the dark hours last night. It was sunny and warm by this afternoon.
Not so in my soul.
Inside there a storm was brewing. Events and conversations this morning stirred up the storm to an intense blast within a small amount of time. A hurricane of epic proportions.
It’s not my imagination. The storm is real.
I’m seeing things in the wind—Coming right at me.
Do I stop going the way I’m headed? Swerve off on a tangent? Go back?
You know what I’m going through, don’t you? You’ve been here, too. I suspect every one of us has been in the storm.
So—what of the options? Do we stop? Should we go a different direction? Maybe it’s time to just turn around.
No. None of those are any good.
The place we need to get to—Home—is out there, ahead of us.
I’ve thought of that old story I learned in Sunday School years ago a lot. Do you realize that the guys back there in the boat were in the storm, too? The wind was blowing stuff at them just as hard as at Peter.
They just weren’t out there with Jesus. They were still in the storm—still on their own.
Who was safer?
I think I’ll keep walking. Against the wind.
Voiceless it cries,
(J.R.R. Tolkien ~ English poet/author ~ 1892-1973)
“Goodbye,” said Eeyore. “Mind you don’t get blown away, little Piglet. You’d be missed. People would say, ‘Where’s little Piglet been blown to?’—really wanting to know.”
(from The House at Pooh Corner ~ A.A. Milne ~ English author ~ 1882-1956)
“Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:29-31 ~ NIV)