For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Recently, I had the opportunity to drive across a good portion of the country, from Arizona to Eastern Nebraska. Low desert, high desert; I saw so much of God’s beauty in nature — mesas, farmland, wide-open fields of flowers, and painted skies. Then, about a mile north of Limon, Colorado, I saw windmills, hundreds of windmills! Each of the blades are more than 100 feet long, and they stand on a base taller than 200 feet. Stand a football field on end, and the windmill would be about the same height, stretching more than 300 feet into the sky! It seemed like I was driving through this field for miles! It was simply breathtaking, and I could have pulled over and sat there watching for hours.
A bit later down the road, though, I pondered how I could have been so enthralled with the beauty of something manmade, when compared to the majesty of God’s creation. But then I realized that the windmills on their own are not beautiful; rather, their beauty comes from their elegant movement. If not for the wind that God created, they would be just hunks of metal and fiberglass, sitting there in the middle of a prairie. Their beauty is not in their material, nor as a reflection of the engineering that created them. Man can make whatever he wants, but without God, it’s all useless.
Imagine if a windmill had a stubborn human streak with a desire to do things in its own way, apart from God. It could stand among its peers, just as tall, and with the same potential, but trying to create its own power would be futile. How often do we try to create our own wind apart from God, and then wonder why we are not successful in our career or relationships or ministry? Just as a windmill was created for wind, God created us with His purpose in mind — not to stand apart from Him and try to make it on our own, but to be dependent on God for our beauty and function.
I would do well to remember this windmill experience whenever I’m facing a struggle that is based on my own stubborn will.