Christian insprirational

The Holy Hoover

“I am so tired of wind. What purpose does it really serve anyway?” I grumbled as I made a cup of black tea and sat by a window where I could see the trees and bushes dancing with their invisible partner. Even though windy spring days are common in Colorado, I can be caught off guard and fall into complaining about the inconvenience and, what I consider, discomfort.

I wanted to go outside for a walk that morning, but the wind kept me inside because it plays havoc with my ears and sinuses. Instead of walking, I chose to sit by the window, sip the tea and complain to God that this weather element He created seemed a little useless, in my opinion. I persisted in explaining that physical exercise is one way I keep my assigned temple healthy. The wind continued to blow. I continued to offer my logical arguments against the squall outside my window.

My annoyance was short-lived as my attention was captured by a small tree not far from the window where I sat. It was engaged in battle with the fast air movement. With each wind burst, dead leaves (remnants of the previous year’s foliage) were released. It was as if the wind was a natural vacuum cleaner, removing debris from the branches. As the tree let go of what was no longer of use, it appeared to stand taller and straighter, relieved of unnecessary baggage. I imagined Mother Nature in her multi-pocketed apron pushing an invisible upright Hoover sweeper around each tree branch.

I was hypnotized by the pattern of air gusts met by branch resistance and then the relaxation of the branches as the wind force lessened periodically. I became lulled out of my discontentment and focused on a scene playing out in front of me. When the tree was almost entirely free of dry lifeless leaves, I thought it would no longer be engaged in the war with the wind. But as I squinted and peered closer, it appeared there was a small branch determined to hang onto one dead leaf, no matter the cost and even if the branch broke under the pressure exerted by the air stream.

It didn’t take long to understand that if the branch would relinquish its grip on the dead leaf, it would no longer be in this uncomfortable and dangerous struggle. Now surely the branch does not have the cognitive ability to make the decision to release that which is dead and no longer serving it. But what about me?

God in His wise and patient teaching used a beautiful natural illustration to gently show me that in my own life I can sometimes hold onto elements that are not producing any positive good in my life. I closed my eyes in prayer and thanked God for this sweet lesson in His vast classroom.

I knew God was giving me an exercise in health that was valuable beyond that outdoor walk I was unhappy about missing. As I sat quietly listening to the wind, I asked God if there were things I needed to release for my mental and spiritual health. I asked Him to show me where there were areas I needed to forgive. Perhaps I needed to ask forgiveness or reach out to a friend I may have hurt. I asked Him to help me inventory where my resentments and entitlements lay in the face of so much loss and denial of what I wanted, especially in the last year and a half.  I truly wanted to know what God was trying to Hoover away.

Before leaving my chair by the window, I looked at the ground beneath the tree and noticed a brown, dead leaf. When I looked up to the little tree branch, I saw it was no longer resisting the wind. It was straight, and the wind was blowing around, but not at, it. I was thrilled to see the emergence of a new, tender, baby leaf in place of the dead one.

“I see Lord. Looks like I may need to let go of some useless matter in my own life, in order to make room for new growth in You, huh? Okay, nice one,” I said. After two deep sighs, I smiled and decided to make another cup of tea.

Now I can’t honestly say I welcome the windy days in my little western Colorado community with open arms, for reasons I mentioned at the start of this post. But I can say that I understand all things in God’s creation can be seen through the lenses of learning, growing and maybe even releasing. I am beginning to understand more deeply that nothing in God’s created universe is without use. And sometimes, He just asks that I embrace a needed cleansing as spiritual discipline.

Copyright April 2021, Laura L. Padgett, M.A.

Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page.

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