I was out running at lunch time today and when I got back my peeps asked me how my run was and I said it was definitely a Bob Seger run. I work with some really young people because two of them said “who’s that and what’s that mean?” I then had to explain that there used to be a day when music was played on instruments instead of computers and there was this genre called rock n’ roll and Bob Seger was one of the best and a Bob Seger run is a run “Against the Wind”. Of course they know how to keep me humble so they just said “why didn’t you just say it was a windy run”. Unimaginative cretins! Just kidding, they may actually one day read something I wrote. As I was out running against the wind I kept thinking about how we all seem to be running against the wind. And it doesn’t make life very joyful when we are constantly (or is it just me?) running against the wind.
“Let me explain. No there is too much. Let me sum up” (50 points if you can guess the movie reference). So anyway I’m out running against the wind and I can’t get this concept of the Holy Spirit out of my head, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2 The wind blows like that in Wyoming some days (okay in certain towns that start with a C that is pretty much every day) and when I’m out running in the wind I can picture the looks on the faces of the men and women packed into this room patiently (well probably not since Peter was there) for what Jesus had told them was coming. Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind comes rushing into the room and the Holy Spirit falls in power on these early Jesus followers. They stumble out of the room speaking in the tongues of people from every nation that are gathered in Jerusalem and these people have never spoken this language before. So now I want you to picture running against that kind of powerful wind. This will do more than bend you straight up and make you feel like you’re running in quick sand. The power of the Holy Spirit is so strong that if you try to run against It you are going to be flat on your fanny in a Jiffy Lube moment.
Yeah but I’m sure I’m the only person that ever runs against the Holy Spirit, right? I’m sure that nobody else ever speaks ill of somebody else or mutters about their spouse and their weird habits that just pester and annoy you, right? I’m sure I’m the only one that when you know you’re supposed to be doing something productive that could change lives (like writing) you turn the TV on to some worthless program because you just need to veg, right? I mean I know I’m the only one that knows I could either eat healthy or I can eat that candy bar and drink that Coke, right? Hey, what’s one beer or glass of wine or another or another or another………yeah I’m the only one who’s ever been there, I know. Or you blow your top because your computer isn’t doing what you want it to do, stupid machine that can’t read my mind instead of the fat fingers that are trying to type in the right thing. Yeah I know, I’m the only dude that has ever done things like this. Did you know that these are all examples of running against the wind? “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Scared yet? Dang I’m scared because I know that there are so many times I fall short of the glory of God and there I am running against the wind again. But then that’s probably just me.
I do know that as I turned around and ran back to my office my pace quickened and it was a much more enjoyable run (not that there is such a thing as a run that isn’t enjoyable) and it made me think about what it is like to run with Holy Spirit through life. I want to run through this life living a Stephen type of life. You know this guy right? “When the Sanhedrin heard this (Stephen’s testimony), they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” The guy is about to be stoned to death and he is testifying about heaven opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. That takes a special kind of peace and contentment that can only be found when you are running with the wind, not against it.