The working Windmills were dominating the scene across the water in Zaandijk. As I walked and watched them getting closer to my view, it was clear that they were not fully in control of their movement. While the residents influenced how much wind was captured by the blades, and the permission to turn or not, there was a force that dominated everything, the wind. In Zaandijk, as it is in much of the Netherlands, the wind is a regular part of the weather. As much as one may try to influence how a windmill respond, the wind ultimately dominates the story.
The reality of working windmills, with products and services ranging from flour to ground oats and more to paddles moving water and power generation, is a metaphor for life. As a new day dawns, there are several reminders left by the images and experience of seeing a windmill at work.
Life is far bigger than any one of us. One has an opportunity to contribute to the story that we do not control. I could feel the force of the wind, as gentle as it was on the day, in Zaandijk. I could take my stand, yet in the end, I would be moved. I would hear the old reminder, “None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters.” (Romans 14.7) Frankly, it is not our responsibility.
Life calls us to be engaged, and to care in making a difference in each moment. I hear a universal calling to be accountable as a Windmill of power. I can work to be prepared to catch the wind and use it for good. The power can energise my soul, releasing the power to act, and to do what I can in the moment I have.
My life, like a windmill, needs care and maintenance. Without kindness and care for oneself, one will fade. The formula of caring is well known. I am challenged to decide and commit. My answer lies in opening up, releasing the Spirit to fill and inspire my heart.