Drifting vs Intention

Night air surrounding my house carries with an idleness. It gusts and plays with the leaves of the trees around us (all imported, this is the pan handle) but it just seems to loiter waiting for a big gust to carry it the rest of the way to where it was headed in the first place.

In my head that makes my house sound like a bus station for the wind, but that’s not quite what I mean. Bus stations and airports have a sense of urgency and impatience – everyone there is merely en route to somewhere else and usually in a hurry. That’s not the feeling that this has.

It’s not arrival either, it’s more a sense of peace and relaxation. Tonight’s air is cool and refreshing and even in a long sleeve shirt I’m comfortable listening to the cicadas.

It is not either drifting or intention, but it has made me think of both.

On a float trip down the Meramec River in Missouri, I managed to miss the point entirely of a float trip. You see the goal is to have a cooler and some drinks and some time. A float trip is a chance to drift down a river for the day with no more cares in the world than the shape of the geography carved by rivers into Missouri hillsides. I didn’t get this, I thought the goal was to get to the other side – a 7 hour trip taking 2 hours with a good rhythm driving the oar strokes.

I had put the intention into getting to the goal instead of experiencing the path. I could have intentionally drifted, but I didn’t. I wonder sometimes if a little intentional drifting would put me back in mind of the breeze tonight. A little puff here and there waiting and fussing around with a few leaves here and there until God put my mind back towards another destination.

No matter how intentional we are, our experience of God cannot be rushed or forced – we are like the night air – waiting for the next gust. Yet I cannot help but feel the intentionality when put in the right direction can aide or seek that gust to full advantage – perhaps even the impulse to seek is part of the wind (pneuma, spirit) moving within us.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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