The Power of Wind

Last night I watched a blip on the largest offshore wind farm on CBC’s 60 Minutes (Am I old enough to watch 60 Minutes now? Oh the horror!). Anyway, this wind farm is off the coast of London near a town called Grimsby. More than 300 turbines spread across 335 square miles in the open ocean and generate enough electricity to help power more than 2 million homes daily.  The wind is a renewable, clean and powerful source of energy. Literally powerful. The highest wind speed ever recorded occurred on Barrow Island, Australia.  On April 10th, 1996, an unmanned weather station measured a 253 mph wind gust during Tropical Cyclone Olivia.  Beat that, Marvel Comics.

Hornsea Wind Farm Photo credit: CBC 60 minutes

The Mitton crew shared in its own little wind adventure this weekend. Well, at least the two of us did. If you saw my Instagram stories this week (and you should follow my Instagram … it’s my favourite social to post on!) you would have seen a little clip of our beach wind adventure. We visited the shores of Lake Huron on Saturday — and it was just a tad windy. The wind was whipping the sand about and stinging my bare ankles like tiny sharp hypodermic needles. I’m thankful it wasn’t whipping about my face. My hair was doing enough of that, I didn’t need the sand to compete. It wasn’t cold. We experience enough cold winds in Canadian winters to appreciate that. Still, we felt the power of the wind.

We watched a few parasailors take advantage of the weather. Obviously, their wind suits shielded them from the icy water… but I bet they felt the wind! I can’t imagine the strength it took to hold back the sails, because, from our observation, that wind was pulling them in hard. Those little parachutes filled up as soon as they were flung open! Those guys caught some great air that afternoon. Two stories high, I’m sure! Brave, I tell ya.

The hubby loves a good storm, and I watched him run out to the lighthouse pier, only to be caught full-on by a crashing wave on the concrete. He got a little wet. 🙂 He’d make a good storm chaser if I’d let him. I’m just not ready to be left on the yellow brick road all alone just yet. Kudos to the spouses who kiss their lobster fisherman goodbye for to brave the highest seas! (Or pirates, Navy guys or … well, you get it). The wind and waves are a mighty enemy and must be respected at all costs.

Grand Bend, Ontario

I’m sure by now, you see where this post is going. The Bible mentions the power of the wind numerous times. Matthew 8 reminds us that Jesus was in control of the storm. The disciples (many of whom were trained fishermen!) marvelled at His ability to rebuke the waves and calm the storm. The prophets of old were told to watch and observe as the Lord’s presence was seen in the changing weather. Mighty winds, cool breezes, storms, waves and flashes of thunder. The Psalms tell us time and again how God calms the raging storms… literally and figuratively within our own heads. Often we get too bogged down by so many things, that those tiny grains of sand driven by the wind, begin to feel like piercing daggers!

Are you caught in a storm, my friend? Are you feeling the powerful wind whip you down and the waves crash around you? Or have you harnessed the power for your own enjoyment like the parasailors? Do you know the One who controls both the mighty tornado and the gentle breeze? He’s worth every encounter. Seek Him and give Him a little shout-out the next time that little leaf floats down beside you … or when your umbrella blows inside out! For the Lord is not in the wind, but controls it!

“Weather” – Or Not

There is a tree that stands just outside our front lawn. It is completely devoid of growth right now and looks barren and forlorn. The leaves are all gone and it is preparing for winter. There have been ads on the radio to remind us that it is time to change into our snow tires. I bought a new winter jacket and snowpants for my daughter today. But I am still wearing sandals on my feet! Our eldest is on the opposite end of the earth right now getting ready for summer! (Wanna read more about my sandals or my son’s adventures? Check out those posts here and here!) Alas, we Canadians are no strangers to weird weather. All four seasons can happen within the same week — and we embrace it! We’ve turned our clocks back this weekend, and put away our gardens, but we hold out for the sunny days of fall and relish the drawbacks of climate change. If you live here, you understand.

photo: quickmeme.com

If you don’t live here and are burdened with tropical sunshine all year long… I’m feeling slightly sorry for you. You will never experience the joy of riding in your car with the butt (seat) warmers on and flip flops on your feet as you drive through the school pick up line. You will more than likely, never have to remind your kids to wear their “toque” and gloves in the morning, only to see them arrive home from school in their gym shorts and t-shirts. You will never have to scrape 6 inches of ice from your lock-frozened vehicle and sweat to death in a classroom whose school boiler is positioned just below their cloakroom. So sorry you have to have only pretty sundresses to wear on special occasions — that don’t have to match your parka. Poor you.

We Canadians are known for our weather. And for how much we talk about it. We love to start our conversations with weather. Be it great weather — or how miserable we are because of what is happening outside at any given moment. We changed our clocks for daylight savings recently … which gave us more excuses to blather on about how we need to adjust to “the time change” and the darkness that envelops us this time of year. Now don’t get me wrong… it’s a real thing… our beings are affected by weather. Which has me musing…

I wonder why we have weather. I wonder why we have seasons and fluxuations and weird temperature changes and storms and natural disasters. Technically, I know why. Without debating the theologies of pre-flood paradise theories, and how sin caused climate change and how environmental disasters are heating up the planet — work with me for a minute — and just take weather for it’s basics. Rain and the sun make the flowers grow. Snow blankets the land allowing for sabbath rest before energy is needed for new life. Winds cleanse the landscape and shape it. Wildlife flourishes in its own environmental element and adapts perfectly to its own space.

Kinda sounds like life, eh? I think God gave us weather as an example of how life ebbs and flows from day to day. We have seasons of growth, and we have seasons of sabbath winter rest. Storms blow in and ravish the land in order to shape and mold it for new growth. Temperatures rise in our lives and we are full of passion and fire. Other times we are cold and indifferent. Sometimes all four seasons seem to come to us in the same week.

It’s no wonder the disciples marveled at Jesus’ reaction to the weather in Mark 4. “Are you not afraid of this storm?” “Don’t you care if we drown?” We ask ourselves the same questions. “Don’t you see what is happening to us down here?” Ahhh… and then the kicker my friends: Jesus rebukes the wind, and calms the storm. Of course we talk about the weather so much! Our human minds are frail, weak and questioning. Our faith is small. We still haven’t learned to trust in the Master and His words. We don’t recognize that He is in control of the ebb and flow of life. Weather — or not.