Word of the Week

Pentecost Possibilities- Susan Smartt Cook

Today our Pentecostal series continues with a guest post from Susan Smartt Cook. You may remember her wonderful prose from our Advent series last winter. Susan is a midwife, a wife, the mother to two fabulous dogs and a friend to many in Edmond, OK.  

She blogs about the question, "What does living in the Spirit mean to me?"  . . . words that I think will resonate with any of us who've waded through life's biggest questions. 

Some call them signs, synchronicities, affirmations. Others say it’s just reading into things. I call it living in the Spirit. Opening my eyes. I love to notice what some would call coincidences, but what I call clear moments of truth.

It’s the Spirit of God whispering my all-time favorite verse, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21). Pressure’s off!

Right OR left … just walk!

Pick up those feet and move. Show up, press on, step out. Life is scary. Changing is scary. Walking is scary. Considering the harsh negativity and pervasive your-annoying-if-you’re-inspired cynicism of this day and age, we have every reason to be spiritual couch potatoes, but the Spirit says WALK.

Several years ago I was on a study retreat in Idaho preparing for my national midwifery exam. I was daunted, paralyzed, COUCH potato-ed by the task. The exam, sure, it was gonna be long, but MIDWIFERY.

How dare I claim such a high calling in the world? How dare I fancy myself worthy of such sacred, special work?

I needed fresh air, so I went for a walk in the snow along a nearby stream.

On the way, I was feebly whining to God about my fear, my doubt, my stuck-ness.

And lo and behold if that very moment a bald eagle didn’t swoop low over my head, circle back over the water, snatch a fish, and soar away! It was stunning! Crisp winter air, snow capped mountains all around, and an eagle flying home. Many might consider that no more than a neat nature moment, but to me it was God. It was Spirit showing up, flying over, swooping down.

Why not infuse life with such meaning?

Why not find spirit among us every day, guiding us like a pillar in the wilderness or a bird in the sky?

Sometimes it feels more like a wink, and pat on the butt, “Go get um! Show ‘em whatcha got!” And sometimes it feels like the clouds roll back, the angels hit a high note, and God says “Hello, and YES!”

Yes to life, yes to me, yes to the right or to the left … choose a path, sister, and walk in it!

The particulars might change, but it’s the conviction, the force behind what we do that’s living in the Spirit. God is with us. It is so.