Wind—the force we feel—and clouds— the threat we see—can govern our decision making.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Sounds wise. What planters want their seed scattered all over the place? What farmer wants to get caught in a downpour mid-harvest? Only those who feel the pressure of time. The laborer who feels the need to get the seed in the ground before it’s too late and the harvester who feels the urgency to gather his crops before the storm will work in spite of these seemingly unfavorable conditions.
Spiritually speaking, we are farmers. Seed is ours to sow, and the field is ours to harvest. We are laborers in the vineyards of the Lord. But we can fail to see the urgency of the times if we are caught up in the pleasures and sorrows of life. Going by what we feel and see can prevent our reaching out.
Both the presence and absence of feelings can influence us. We feel the pleasure of our comfort zones, the disappointments of our setbacks, and the guilt of our own failures. So we stay immobile. We don’t feel compassion to give or don’t feel the energy to do a kind deed or don’t feel like we are equipped with sufficient knowledge. So we are unmotivated to take action.
We are guided by what we see. We read negative responses on people’s faces so we hang back. We judge others more capable of performing a task than we are, thereby mentally obligating them and freeing ourselves from our responsibilities. We see the withdrawal from our own accounts, the unmet desires we still have, the setbacks we have experienced, the troubles hanging heavy over us, and we excuse our need to be involved in the work God’s called us to. We lose sight of the harvest, and we cease to be moved by the things that move God.
Rather than observing the wind and excusing ourselves from sowing, we can plant the seed with more care. Bending close to the painstakingly cultivated soil, we can invest more of ourselves in the process. Perhaps our feeling of inadequacy would dissipate with more frequent attention to the souls around us and our persistent response to them. Smiles, kind words, considerate gestures, testimonies of the goodness of God, or an invitation to coffee could be the tending a heart needs to melt its resistance toward God. Shifting our eyes from the clouds of our troubles to someone else’s pain will provide the motivation to act now rather than later. With others in sight, will be prompted to take the umbrella of the Gospel to them, perhaps rescuing them from fatal lightning strikes of eternity without God.
Wind and clouds have little clout in spiritual matters. They merely provide fodder for presumption. We can assume there will be danger. We can assume another time is more convenient to reach out or to make a spiritual move toward God. We can assume how a person will respond to truth. Or we can lean out the window of faith and feel the tug of God’s Spirit directing our gaze upward and bending our will outward. We can respond to the harvest, believing the wind is momentum at our backs and the cloud covering is the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on with their testimony (Hebrews 12:1). We get to choose our perspective in matters of the Spirit. Feelings and facts are of little consequence because Kingdom work has and always will be about faith and the exhilaration of making the God of the weather the God of our “whethers.”
Tip/Tidbit: Let God direct whether or not you contribute to the Kingdom. Don't go by what you feel or see.