1 July 2013
It seems that each day we have been in Dunbar we have experienced the wind. There have been days when there is only a gentle breeze. Then there have been days, like yesterday, when it has been A WIND.
Yesterday, following church and after lunch at the East Links Golf Club in Dunbar (one of the sites where the final qualifying rounds for the British Open will be held on Tuesday) Terri and I went for an afternoon walk along the beach and experienced the wind full force. One golfer we passed estimated it was 30+ mph. We could lean into it. How do they golf in wind like this? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
As we journeyed down the shoreline we came to Bell Haven Beach, a long, clean, white sand beach that must stretch at least a half mile. On this expansive beach a few people walked but a couple of people were practicing the sport of sand sailing. We had first seen this sport on Omaha Beach when Terri and I went to Normandy on June 6. These sport enthusiasts had learned the fine art of harnessing the wind so they might sail on sand. They looked like they were having a great time and the dog that was chasing them was having fun as well.
As we walked we could see where the wind and water had eroded and shaped the sandstone rocks and cliffs making incredible sculptures. We saw similar beauty on many of the castle ruins we have visited, all showing the effects of these natural forces upon each other. This was John Muir’s playground as a young boy. It is no wonder that he was shaped by the beauty created by wind and sea.
Last night as I was anticipating the activities of today I visited the accuweather website. Even though it didn’t spell it out explicitly it revealed another impact of wind and water. The website said it so simply: “Temperature 50 F; feels like 38 F; my interpretation: the wind blowing across the very cold North Sea works like an air conditioner and gives another meaning to “wind chill.”
Being on the edge of nature and its forces, whether the North Sea like Dunbar, Scotland, or the Teton Range like Jackson, Wyoming, reminds me how Jesus often used the natural world to draw people to better understand God’s world.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:22-26
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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.” John 3:5-8
How these images from nature must have captured those 1st century people because they knew the power of those natural forces. I wonder if the image of sand sailors might capture us as well. What would happen if we allowed the Spirit of God to be the wind in the sail of our life so God might move us, empower us, to go where he might want us to go? Just a thought from windy Dunbar.