A Windy or Sunny Approach
June 8, 2018
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Walking the rural paths among the rolling hills above our home at Refuge Ranch in Mexico often results in a gentle assault from both wind and sun. The paths are at over 7,000 feet altitude where the sun is stronger because it doesn’t have to penetrate as much air to reach the earth. The wind, too, is stronger for the hills are an exposed target with nothing to hinder the wind’s blowing.
This added strength the high altitude gives to both both wind and sun means I often feel both press against me at the same time, the warmth of the sun and the cool of the breeze. It’s as if both are wrestling control for whom I will have the most feeling.
It reminds me of Aesop’s fable of the wind and the sun. They were disputing which was the stronger when they saw a traveler walking a path. The sun said, “I see a way for us to resolve our dispute. Whichever of us can cause the traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger.” The wind agreed to the contest. While the sun hid behind a cloud the wind began to blow. The wind blew and blew and blew harder and harder, but its efforts only made the traveler wrap his cloak more tightly about himself. It was the sun’s turn, so it came out from behind the cloud and shown bright and warm, and warmer and warmer until the man removed his cloak. The sun’s gentleness won over the wind’s force.
We too can use force or gentleness. We have little, if any, control over what others say or do, but we can, especially with God’s help, exhibit control over how we respond. We face countless opportunities every day where we have to decide, often very quickly, whether to use a forceful or gentle approach, a windy or sunny approach. Aesop’s fable, past personal experience, and the wisdom found in the Good Book all vote for us taking a sunny as over against a windy approach!
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)