The inspiration behind the song…
Can you remember the last big storm life handed you? We have all been there. Sometimes it is a truly catastrophic event in our lives, other times it is something that simply feels overwhelming. We can huddle in the boat at the mercy of the wind and waves. Or we can get out and walk on water…but only if we keep our eyes on Jesus and lean into the wind…
I first heard the words “lean into the wind” a few days after making my first profession. I was filled with zeal and energy, all the special graces of a newly professed Bride of Christ. I moved into my first assignment and quickly realized how much I had to learn. The unknown loomed on the horizon. Living in a new convent, learning new things, getting to know new Sisters, trying to faithfully live the religious life and serve God’s people. I was going to live all that I had learned in the protective shelter of the Novitiate! I was filled with exhilaration and a great and terrible…FEAR!
Fear?! Yes, all the newness seemed to be rushing towards me in towering waves threatening to swamp my little boat. When I told my superior, Sister Regina Marie, about the waves, she looked me straight in the eye and said “Lean into the wind, Sister…”
When Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat, it was not a sunny calm day on the lake. The wind was fierce, the waves were large, and the apostles were terrified. I can imagine Peter taking a couple of steps and suddenly realizing, “hey, I can’t walk on water even when it’s calm.” And the second he took his eyes off of Jesus, he started to sink.
The lyrics for this song came as we sat with our eyes fixed on Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
Refrain: Why are you here? (You know my Lord I love you)
What do you fear? (In peace accept the fight)
Will you just stay there, or lean into the wind? (I will lean into the wind)
Are you here for consolations?
Mere pleasures and devotions
flowing only with the motions, in the shallows you stay?
Or are you here to love Me?
Your heart undividing,
relax the grasp of all that you clasp
be rich in Me. Refrain
At the beginning of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II challenged us to “Put out into the deep” with Jesus. Will you accept the challenge? Will you get out of the boat and fixing your eyes on Jesus, lean into the wind?
* Note: We owe our good friend Joe Nally for this inspiration as he is the one who first encouraged Sister Regina Marie one day when the going was tough, to “lean into the wind.” Deeply impacted by his advice, she has passed it on to others.