Dr. Jim Baldwin
is the Minister to Senior Adults at First Baptist Church. Before coming to First Baptist, he served as the pastor of three churches across North Carolina for 36 years. Jim and his wife ENan returned to Wilmington, his hometown, several years ago to continue his ministry. Jim and ENan share a deep passion and heart for missions and love serving others.
I mentioned last week that it is festival season in our area and ENan and I love a good festival! On Saturday we headed up the road to Wilson, NC for the Whirligig Festival. I know, you are probably thinking, “What in the world is a whirligig and why would someone name a festival for it?”
I too was skeptical, but now I am a believer! We were expecting a field full of small propeller-like things you blow on and make spin. What we found instead was a park filled with colorful, artsy marvels of engineering and imagination. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park features 30 of the artist’s creations – some taller than a telephone pole. In 2013, the New York Times described Simpson as “a visionary artist of the junkyard…who made metal scraps into magnificent things that twirled and jangled and clattered when he set them out on his land.” But they only move when the wind is blowing.
Sunday afternoon – AFTER we went to church, in case you were being judgmental – we went to the Kite Festival at Kure Beach, NC. There were monkey kites, octopus kites, gecko kites and parrot kites, along with kites that did tricks and even motorized kites. The kites were all works of art, demonstrating vivid imagination and skilled craftsmanship. For the better part of the day, however, most of the kites just lay on the sand. There wasn’t enough wind to get them off the ground.
As we marveled at the power and importance of the wind, I was reminded of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. In the middle of his discussion on being “born again,” Jesus interjects, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8)
Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. We cannot control the Spirit or even predict the movement of the Spirit. We can, however, adjust our lives so that we move with the Spirit. That is the only way our plans get off the ground. That is the only way our lives reveal the majesty of God. That is the only way we move toward the Kingdom of God.
When the Spirit is moving in and among His people, life becomes magical.
By Dr. Jim Baldwin