Tonight a southwest wind is rushing off the Salish Sea and across the flats we call home. The ropes tying up a giant rose bush groan and the power flickers. It's still warm, but there's a marine feeling to the air and ten thousand newborn leaves murmur and the hammock tosses between trees.
I went on a short run tonight and crossed paths with another runner, an older man in a sweaty tank-top, going in the opposite direction. "It's easier going that way," he puffed as he thudded by. I was a bit put off. I had just come UP a hill; he was preparing to go DOWN it. Then I thought about the wind at my back as I pressed east on Thornton Road--and the wind that was in his face as he plowed west.
I had further reason to think about the wind after I turned around and started pushing my own way westward. Yes, it was downhill, but somehow I didn't experience the same exhilaration of expanded stride that I might have known. I was tired: Yes. It was the first time I had run in some time: True. But it was that breeze that took the final wind out of my sails.
This was no gale, just a pulsing pressure that made every step a little harder. Leaves and needles littered the ground, too tender and too new to hold on in their first significant test.
I turned the corner and headed north on North Star Road, the last lap toward home. My legs were still heavy, but the pressure was gone--I was running with the south wind, aided by what had been my foe moments before.
Nothing had changed--nothing but my direction.
In a nutshell, that's repentance: turning from my way to God's so that the Wind that once was against me now presses me home. As much as I incline to my own self-serving--as much as I enjoy pursuing my own--I'd rather go with God.
© Copyright May 2017 by Robert G. Robbins