504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Windmills and Power

This summer, my wife and I were privileged to drive to New Mexico for a collegiate conference. We would normally fly, but other circumstances intervened and we turned it into a road trip.  On the way home, our trip took us from New Mexico into West Texas. As we approached Abilene (after paying our respects at the grave of Billy the Kid), we drove through a series of windmill farms that I now know are the largest in the world with more than 1000 windmills. We happened to pass a series of semi-trailers, each one having one windmill blade on it. These boys are big. They are also
huge energy-generators. It was near sunset and I was stunned by the sheer number of windmills.  I was also a little hypnotized as the red lights that blink on the windmills all blink in sync.

I was a bit surprised when I commented on my observation to my friends at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, TX. I was told that it is great that all of those turbines are producing energy but the benefit is not realized because they lack the transmission lines to get the power where it is needed.  All of this power is produced, but it doesn't help in markets like Houston or Dallas--where the power is desperately needed.

It made me think about Acts 1:6-9.

6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. " NASB

After Jesus gave His theology of eschatology (it's none of our business when He is coming back--God will initiate that sequence when He is ready), He talked about power. We receive power from the Holy Spirit. Power to discern, power to love, power to live, power to cope with the junk the world throws at us and most importantly, power that glorifies God in our world.  We have power to give good counsel, power to direct persons to the game changer that is the new birth. We have power to believe in prayer, power to understand the Word, power to make it through one more day. And we have power to give away power.

The delivery of the power is the thing. Jesus also addressed the transmission of that power. We are told to be witnesses in our ever-expanding places of influence. Witnesses describe what they have seen.  We have seen the power. The power is vast and available.  The trouble is with the transmission. As witnesses, we are to tell the Jesus story with our actions and reactions, our words and our silence, our lifestyle and our language.  We are to tell the story wherever we go, whenever we go and however we go.  And as Jesus reminded us in Matthew 28, as we go we are make disciples. Then the disciples tell others (2 Tim. 2:2). Then the power transmission problem is less of a problem.

What an incredible relief for me that I don't have to be the source of power, merely the conduit.  I am not responsible for what happens at the source--it already happened in what Jesus did in His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.  His power is our power.  We just have to transmit it to places that desperately need it.