Thursday, July 28, 2016

Whirligig


whirl·i·gig
ˈ(h)wərlēˌɡiɡ/
noun
1. a toy that spins around, for example, a top or a pinwheel.
2. a thing regarded as hectic or constantly changing.

My life fits the second definition of whirligig perfectly

"hectic or constantly changing"

At times I feel dizzy
sick to my stomach
exhausted
At other times I feel energized
anticipatory and ready to try anything

a whirligig!


But right now....
I am ready for
a boring, run of the mill, steady eddy, plain, uneventful,
happy, celebratory, successful, comfortable, delightful,
encouraging, pleasurable season


Is that so wrong?

I wonder....

The thing that keeps a whirligig whirling is wind.
Otherwise it just stays perfectly still.
Does that make it no longer a whirligig?
I would say, Yes!

I would argue that it is just a decoration
a lawn ornament
or perhaps a dust catcher

Maybe the only way to understand the beauty and delight of a whirligig
is to first see it
out of motion,
perfectly still.
For, our first response is to blow on it
or spin it around to make it move and twirl
so that we can enjoy what it looks like in motion.


For when it is in motion,
it is beautiful
and being used to its utmost potential.

I think that when I am having days where the motion of life
feels more exhausting than exhilarating
it is time for me to take a little step back out of the wind
just enough to catch my breath
to repair and reinforce any worn out parts

I do this through fasting and praying
being quiet
gazing at the One who created me
Allowing Him to speak truth into my life and my circumstances
Seeing things from His perspective

It would be so easy to stay in that quiet still place
But I am a whirligig,
not a dust catcher
and I was created to be beautiful in motion
To show off what my Creator did in me
and continues to do
That can only be seen if I step back out into the wind
embracing the constant change



Praying for God's protection
that the winds of this life
will allow me to show Christ's love to a dying world
that the wind will not be so strong as to knock me down
and destroy this whirligig
God created the wind and He created me
He is in control

There is a story in Acts 27 and 28 about a ship wreck that I love.
It is about Apostle Paul and his round about way of getting to Rome.
Although this is an account of his journey,
It reminds me of how no matter what,
God accomplishes
with His children what He wants to happen.

There is no wind too strong to take me off course
to what He has set for me to do.

There is no detour to long,
and no time of replenishing 
and refreshing that is wasted.

All of it is part of His plan and His timing.

This story is worth reading...

Acts 27 and 28 (ESV)

Paul Sails for Rome
And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy,
they delivered Paul and some other prisoners
to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius.
And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium,
which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia,
we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, 
a Macedonian from Thessalonica.
The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly
and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for.
And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus,
because the winds were against us.
And when we had sailed across the open sea
along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia.
There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria 
sailing for Italy and put us on board.
We sailed slowly for a number of days 
and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus,
and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, 
we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone.
Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens,
near which was the city of Lasea.
Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous
because even the Fast[a] was already over, Paul advised them,
saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage 
will be with injury and much loss,
not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot
and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in,
the majority decided to put out to sea from there,
on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix,
a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest,
and spend the winter there.
Now when the south wind blew gently, 
supposing that they had obtained their purpose,
they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore.
But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, 
struck down from the land.
And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind,
we gave way to it and were driven along.
Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda,
we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat.
After hoisting it up, they used supports to under-gird the ship.
Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis,
they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along.
Since we were violently storm-tossed, 
they began the next day to jettison the cargo.
And on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard 
with their own hands.
When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, 
and no small tempest lay on us,
all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
Since they had been without food for a long time,
Paul stood up among them and said, 
“Men, you should have listened to me
and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.
Yet now I urge you to take heart, 
for there will be no loss of life among you,
but only of the ship.
For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God
to whom I belong and whom I worship,
and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar.
And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
So take heart, men, for I have faith in God 
that it will be exactly as I have been told.
But we must run aground on some island.”
When the fourteenth night had come, 
as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea,
about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land.
So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.
A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.
And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors
from the stern and prayed for day to come.
And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship,
and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea
under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow,
Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers,
“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food,
saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued
in suspense and without food, having taken nothing.
Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,
for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”
And when he had said these things, he took bread,
and giving thanks to God in the presence of all 
he broke it and began to eat.
Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.
(We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)
And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship,
throwing out the wheat into the sea.
Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land,
but they noticed a bay with a beach,
on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore.
So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea,
at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders.
Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.
But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground.
The bow stuck and remained immovable,
and the stern was being broken up by the surf.
The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, 
lest any should swim away and escape.
But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, 
kept them from carrying out their plan.
He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard 
first and make for the land,
and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship.
And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
After we were brought safely through,
we then learned that the island was called Malta.
The native people showed us unusual kindness,
for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all,
because it had begun to rain and was cold.
When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire,
a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand,
they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer.
Though he has escaped from the sea, 
Justice has not allowed him to live.”
He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead.
But when they had waited a long time 
and saw no misfortune come to him,
they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands
belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius,
who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.
It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery.
And Paul visited him and prayed, 
and putting his hands on him healed him.
And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island
who had diseases also came and were cured.
They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail,
they put on board whatever we needed.
After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island,
a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead.
Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days.
And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium.
And after one day a south wind sprang up, 
and on the second day we came to Puteoli.
There we found brothers 
and were invited to stay with them for seven days.
And so we came to Rome.
And the brothers there, when they heard about us,
came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us.
On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.
And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself,
with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews,
and when they had gathered, he said to them,
“Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people 
or the customs of our fathers,
yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem 
into the hands of the Romans.
When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty,
because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.
But because the Jews objected, 
I was compelled to appeal to Caesar
—though I had no charge to bring against my nation.
For this reason, therefore, 
I have asked to see you and speak with you,
since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.”
And they said to him, 
“We have received no letters from Judea about you,
and none of the brothers coming here 
has reported or spoken any evil about you.
But we desire to hear from you what your views are,
for with regard to this sect 
we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”
When they had appointed a day for him,
they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers.
From morning till evening he expounded to them,
testifying to the kingdom of God 
and trying to convince them
about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.
And disagreeing among themselves,
they departed after Paul had made one statement:
“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers 
through Isaiah the prophet:
“‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
For this people's heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.’
Therefore let it be known to you
that this salvation of God
has been sent to the Gentiles;
they will listen.”
He lived there two whole years at his own expense,
and welcomed all who came to him,
proclaiming the kingdom of God
and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ
with all boldness and without hindrance.