"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again...The wind blows where ever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
John 3:3 & 8
I really wish that I could get by on 4 hours of sleep. It would make life much easier and more constructive. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me. Still, I got up relatively early today and sat down for some prayer and meditation.
I realized that today was Monday. This means that I still had one extra day to be thankful for. Thankfully, what I was meditating on has two parts to it.
Today I am thankful for being Born of the Spirit AND the adventure that comes with it. The term "Born Again" seems to bug a few people. A couple of people I have talked to said it bothered them because they didn't need it. They go to church, a priest sprinkled some water on them, they did their confirmation, so they're "In."
Who needs to be born again when you signed your name to a pamphlet in Sunday School when you were 5? God totally digs pamphlets. If he had figured out that this was all that was needed, then he never would have had to die on a cross. Very handy indeed.
I really like how Eugene Peterson's Message Bible translates this conversation with Nicodemus; Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to - to God's kingdom."
"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation --the wind 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life--it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch--the Spirit--and becomes a living spirit."
In both Greek and Hebrew, the word for Spirit is the same as Wind. I find it interesting that Jesus uses them interchangeably. There is the visible world which we cling to, and the invisible world which is ultimately much more important and powerful.
The world stresses human wisdom, common sense, "risk management," and setting oneself up for success. The world cannot comprehend God's kingdom or it's motivations...generally because God's world view is upside down compared to ours. His values are usually quite the opposite of ours.
I often look at American culture and think to myself, to do it right I need to do the opposite of everything I see...and that is purely looking at having a decent life in the here & now. To "do it right" in light of eternity is to really go down the rabbit hole of this world's reality and values.
"Beware of a way of life that is acceptable to conventional, human reasoning. The mind of sinful humanity neglects the eternal for the temporal and the holy for the profane. It's followers, therefore, give tainted advice. Do not follow it. Live supernatural lives under supernatural guidance. Be blown by God's Spirit. He blows where ever He pleases and takes us where the world cannot go."
That's the adventure I want. As frustrating as my life currently is, I want to try and be patient as God teaches me something. I want to wait for him to reveal this new direction that the wind is blowing.
Four Strong Winds- Neil Young By: Rockcitymetal from Edwin Bong Canlas on Vimeo.