One of my favorite events in Snowmass Village happens this weekend. The annual balloon festival. Whether one is a fan of the event or not, certainly the vivid colors crossing the sky captures the attention of all. Ever since I was a young boy, I have been entranced by balloons of all kinds, helium filled balloons, water balloons, and of course the large balloons that will be here in just a few days.

I have been fortunate to ride in a balloon twice. Once the balloon remained tethered to the ground and simply rose to a stomach churning level. But that experience pales in comparison to the time my family and I along with a cousin rode in a balloon that rose several thousand feet over Colorado Springs.

On that occasion, we woke up early in the morning, met our pilot and crew at a designated spot, and after time spent in preparation we were off. After shedding anxiety we all were astonished at the wonder and beauty of floating across the sky, including the few moments we crossed, at several thousand feet, right across a main runway at Colorado Springs airport.

During our flight the pilot shared the variety of ways in which a hot air balloon can be steered, but that when it comes down to it, “no balloonist has control over the wind as the wind blows where the wind will blow,” he said. I immediately was reminded of Jesus’ words when he said in John’s Gospel, “You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it is headed next,”

Through these words, Jesus uses wind as a metaphor for the movement and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Like the wind, we cannot control God’s Spirit, nor should we try to, rather we are invited moment to moment to follow God’s direction, leading, and ways, even when such things take us to places we never expected.

Being goal directed, having plans, establishing long term goals and hopes are part of what it means to be a resilient human being. But our lives are diminished when we try to control and direct what God is working to do in our lives.

God’s Spirit continually seeks what is best for us and when we learn to let go of control and let God’s wind take us wherever it wants to, it is then we will be more fully in touch with God’s love, grace, forgiveness, wonder, and creativity, With this in mind, where might God’s Spirit be leading you and how might God be inviting you to jump into his “basket” trusting that God will lead you to what is best?