In my apartment. I walk in and absent-mindedly flip the light switch on the right wall. I have plugged in a standing lamp and a fan to the outlet controlled to the switch. The light turns on and I can see the small but cozy apartment. It is a hot day and I leave the windows open most days. The apartment is warm and the air stale. It takes me a moment to recognize that the fan did not go on. I back step and flip the switch off and on. It doesnt go on. Stubborn and a little frustrated, I do it several more times. It dawns on me that the light worked, so the problem is probably not in the switch or outlet. I am momentarily glad that I am alone, so no one saw. I walked to the wall and checked the plug and cord. I unplug it and switch it with the light cord. The light still works. I push the rotating button a few times and shake the fan. In the end, I remember that I turned it off a few days ago. I push the button and it works. Despite the embarassment, I am relieved and content.
My spiritual walk is much like that fan. I walk into occasions with God and absent-mindedly flip the switch. The light is always there, but I often forget to let the breath of God work through me. When I recognize the air is stale and unmoving, my first impulse is to blame the switch. I wonder why I have been forsaken. I try different things to ignite a passion that is already there. Befuddled, my next thought is to blame the outlet. I think that the mesage is not getting to me correctly. Perhaps it is the pastors, or the denomination, or the church. Perhaps it is the religion over spirituality. I unplug and replug into different situations. The results are the same. So I shake myself violently. I begin to think that there must be something wrong with me for having doubt. I must not have enough faith or love to be of use to anyone. The self-condemnation can get pretty ugly.
The soft voice speaks to me. I get a ‘God wink.’ I am reminded to be honest, open minded, and willing. The fan is turned on and I get to share a Holy Wind with the world around me. My job is not to be the power, or decide which direction to blow. My job is not to worry over the outlet so much. I only have to not block the Sunlight, not obstruct the Spirit.