There has been a picture being shared on social media in the last couple of days man casually mowing the grass as a tornado looms behind him. It can be found here.
The story is, that mowing the grass was on his to-do list. His wife had gone for a nap leaving him to get on with it. His daughter noticed the change in the weather and went out to tell him, but he decided to carry on mowing because that was what was on his schedule. He told her he had his eye on the tornado.
What would you do in that situation?
Carry on with the to-do list despite the tornado?
Go inside and wait to see what happens?
Wind is a mighty thing.
A few months ago, in the middle of a sermon, just at the right time our fire exit blew loudly open and made everyone jump.
Wind has the potential to do the unexpected, to change the course, to enable a tin can to roll up hill and cause chaos and devastation. It has, I watched in Beauty and the Beast last week, the potential to open up the way to a frightening but promising new life......
John 3:8 says this:
"The wind blows wherever 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."
That tornado could have changed direction. That tornado could have caused destruction..... Yet the man carried on with his to do list, because that's what he had always done.
Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. On that first Pentecost I'd imagine that the arrival of the Holy Spirit was as shocking as a tornado (even though they were expecting it). The disciples were ready and prepared for it and were waiting. Their chores paused for that time....
The man in the tornado story carries on doing his to-do list - his default - his normal - keeping an eye out but not prepared to stop and think.
Sometimes we can all be a bit like that - our to do list is done whatever is around.....
But.... then the tornado changes direction and we miss it as we resolutely stand firm in our ways and in the past.
Perhaps there are times when we need to pause from our to-do list - our normal - our default - and watch and see and feel where the wind is going. Watch and see and feel where the Holy Spirit is leading us.
Times are changing. Churches are changing (where they are willing to).... and we've all got to ask ourselves the question - what are we going to be doing?
Are we going to be resolutely carrying on mowing the lawn, or are we going to stop, pause and watch and wait, listening and then moving to where the Spirit is leading us?