“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The Spirit blows where He wants, and you hear His voice, but cannot tell where He comes from and where He goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3: 5-8)

As Christ explains in this conversation with the somewhat puzzled Nicodemus, we are all called to be born, not only “of the flesh” at our natural birth, and not only “of water and Spirit” at baptism. We are called to be born again, – and again, “of the Spirit.” This oft-repeated process of renewal and rebirth in the Spirit, however, is not something we control. Because He comes and goes “where He wants” (ὅπου θέλει), and we cannot tell “where He comes from and where He goes.”

This freedom of the governing Spirit, and our lack of control of His divine energies, which do renew and revive our own on a regular basis, is a refreshing, humbling fact. While it is my job to remain open to His grace, keeping my “house” clean to the best of my ability, I humbly ask Him to do the rest, which I cannot do for myself.

Today I gratefully recognize that we do not, and cannot, control Him, whence He comes, or where He goes. I humbly ask God, as I start my day, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps 50/51: 10)