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The Migration Spirit

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Not having grown up going to church, when we began talking about living by the Spirit recently, I wasn’t sure how to think about what that means. I have always had a sense of God existing around us in nature and through the love of others and now I feel like I’m beginning to be able to explain how God sent his only Son to the world to suffer for us. But the idea that there is this Spirit that Jesus left us as a helper that moves in us and through us like a wind, guiding us, was hard for me to wrap my head around.

Moreover, the idea that we follow the Spirit even though we don’t know where it is leading us and we can’t see beyond the next step I find to be anxiety-inducing. Of course, I find a lot of things to be anxiety-inducing but this feels like a big ask. I’m just supposed to be guided by the Spirit and not worry about the future?

I want to have a plan and make a schedule. I want to know exactly what is going to be required of me so I can prepare accordingly and ace the test. I want to know the right answer. I want to know what is going to happen, especially right now. I really want to know what the world is going to be like in a week or in a month or in a year.

I was recently watching a nature documentary with my kids. In it, there was a segment on Arctic terns. Arctic terns have always been one of my favorite birds. I spent a lot of time in the United Kingdom growing up and you can see them there during the summer along the shoreline.

They hover in the air about a hundred feet up, their sleek form like a cut-out in the blue sky (or more often gray, because it’s England), their sharp beaks pointed down, their eyes scanning the water. And then, when they spot a fish, they fold their wings and drop like an arrow. They plunge in and then emerge with their prey in a spray of water just a second later. It’s an incredible feat to watch.