One early morning last week I was sitting in my favorite rocking chair, doing morning devotions and enjoying the quiet, when I was distracted by unexpected motion across the room. One helium-filled orange balloon was bobbing quietly by the couch, its string tucked under a pillow, anchoring it securely. The furnace had just kicked on, and the warm air currents coming from the vent on the floor met the cooler air currents from the ceiling fan, impacting the balloon.
I watched it for a bit, bobbing about here and there, in some seemingly random pattern, knowing that its motion was influenced by things I couldn't see - and it struck me, then, that in so many ways that balloon was a simple word picture that spoke to how I should live my life. It was anchored securely. It wasn't going anywhere it oughtn't to go (like up to the ceiling to encounter the fan, for instance). But it was free to be quietly itself, and to move as it was directed by the air currents around it.
Jesus said, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8) We can't see the wind, but we can see its effects. Hear the leaves rustling in the trees. Watch the balloon sailing "haphazardly" (but not really) through the sky on a blustery day. The wind does come from somewhere and it is going somewhere, but all we can see are its effects.
I find this somewhat comforting, in seasons like this, when I feel like I'm not really sure where I'm coming from or where I'm going, yet I see the effects of God's Spirit at work within me. I will find out where I'm going when I get there. In the meantime, anchored tightly to Him, I can simply rest, and let the wind of His Spirit direct me moment by moment. All I need to do is ride the wind.
Which, when I'm not worrying so much about where I've been or where I'm going, is actually pretty fun. :)