With faith we can face headwinds in our lives
Those who live in Nebraska are sure to get their share of windy days. The spring winds can blow up storms, while summer’s hot winds dry things out and make it feel like a desert. In the winter, high winds with sleet or snow cause drifting, white outs and other dangerous situations. We can’t forget the driving wind with hail that can destroy crops and dent everything.
Another way of looking at those gusty conditions is to remember that we have learned to make friendly with the wind. In years past, the wind was harnessed to move sailing ships and pump water for homesteads and thirsty livestock. More recently, wind has been used to generate electricity powered by giant wind turbines.
Wind also can be used as a metaphor to describe a struggle or challenge. For instance, "I’ve been fighting this head wind." Facing the wind and leaning into it might mean you’re showing courage. Having the wind at your back might be considered good luck or a blessing.
Our weekend Gospel reading gives us the story of the squall that comes upon the disciples who are in a boat, without Jesus. We are told they were "being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it." They are very frightened.
Jesus appears to be walking to them on the water, but they do not recognize him. At Jesus’ beckoning, Peter gets out of the boat and begins to walk toward Jesus. "But when he saw how strong the wind was, he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’"
When we face adversity, when we are challenged, when we struggle, when life gets downright hard – these are the storms of our lives. We can imitate the initial courage of Peter, who first asks for the Lord’s bidding, then steps out in trust. If our courage falters, we can reach out to the Lord in faith. He will grab our hand.
With this perspective, we can make friendly with the winds that blow through our lives. After all, faith is simply trust walking.
Father William L’Heureux is pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Silver Creek, St. Rose of Lima Parish in Genoa and Ss. Peter and Paul Parish of Krakow.