It’s calm here. The breeze is strong as it passes from Pacific Ocean waters, onto the shore, across the land, and without end back to where the wind did not begin. I am standing on the sandy beach somewhere along the northern coast of Oregon. I feel encased within a vacuum where on my left, the mysterious depths of the ocean, on my right, the business of western civilization. Yet I am caught in a place that seems both in between these two worlds and yet, nowhere at all. I am free.
I don’t know how it is that I happened to arrive here. It seemed like years ago that I first stepped onto an airplane bound for Los Angeles. That first step which began this journey into the unknown, the unplanned, and the unimagined. That first step of initiation into a new way of life. A passing of old to new, familiar to unfamiliar and without expectation of any kind.
“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.” ol’ Jesus said.
What does it mean to live as the wind blows? Is the wind looking ahead at what lies beyond with a controlling sense of where it ought to go? “The wind blows wherever it pleases…” not because it intends to arrive at a particular place, nor because of where it has been. The wind moves for the same reason that people dance or compose music. If the goal of playing music were to reach the end of the song, those who play the fastest would be considered the greatest musicians. But the purpose of music is to enjoy the journey, each fluctuating pulsating tone of sound. In our society, especially within religious circles,
Many of us live within a culture of insecurity and people who are searching for meaning in their lives in commercialism and the ideas advertising has been so effective in convincing us that lies are truth. We are constantly bombarded with the phrase “God has a purpose for you.” But the word purpose can be looked upon from different perspectives.
There is the perspective of purpose all-too-common in western culture, which is a so-called “mission statement” or, pre-defined purpose we accept for our lives. A purpose of something we are supposed to do in order to bring fulfillment into our hearts. But perhaps in that sense – the one we are most often sold – can be very dangerous. It can create a mentality that we must take matters into our own hands to, in a way, impose our will upon nature.
There is another sense of purpose or, purposelessness, in which we find our life’s meaning not in an intellectual concept or definition, but in the simplicity of how nature is flowing and pulsating as the beat of a heart. When we look at our lungs breathing in and out, not because we will them to, but because it is simply their nature to do so. That is the sense of purpose I am speaking of here. A sense of purpose which does not make us feel that we have control over what is happening; rather, that we can get in line with what is happening here and now. We can recognize our life as being in unison with the lungs breathing, the heart beating, and vast ocean that is all of life and existence.
These are my thoughts as I walk north along this coastline. The calming, brisk wind. The birds singing their songs. The continuous rhythm of waves who have traveled across such a vast breadth of water to arrive at the land-barrier, sending them back into the ocean like a small child swinging on a swing who reaches their highest point. That moment of swinging so high and seeing only sky during a brief experience of weightlessness before being pulled by gravity to the other side of the swing-set, preparing to once again pick up steam for yet another journey back to the front which ultimately leads to one…great…leap.