September 7, 2011
One of my dreams is to camp a few days in the desert. It intrigues me. The desert invites you to completely remove obstacles that trap you and see life in its starkest image…
Oh, someone will inevitably say to me, “Have you forgotten all about the wildlife and plants that inhabit the desert?” Yes, I understand that. I agree, the desert is not completely barren since life can exist in the harshest of conditions, such as lack of water and extreme heat during the noonday sun, but that is the same for cold climates that freeze, or the vast difference between summer and fall in a four season climate. Living things adapt to the environment. What I am reflecting on is my ability to throw away thoughts that clog my veins and keep my blood from reaching the corners of my body. Some of us struggle with cholesterol. Others struggle with shame, guilt and the myriad of emotions they bring to your life. My life is dependent on throwing away some of my thoughts and the desert makes that possible for me. I am not wrapped up in my surroundings, which are apparently there, but rather I am free to focus on my inner life.
True freedom in our belief that Jesus was the Son of God is allowing ourselves to be refined and molded in the heat of the noon sun and as the evening sets us with the cool air, we find peace in knowing that we have been loved and cared for despite the conditions of our lives. Perhaps living in a desert for a time in our walk as a Christian can honestly help us assess our purpose. Are we truly walking in the footsteps of the one who came to save us from ourselves or are we following a shadow of a false prophet? Who do you seek for advice in times of trouble? If you are avoiding the heat of G-D you are missing out of the love as well. We cannot know peace without having gone through trials.
4/11/2013 My chance to witness life in the desert for a week is actually going to happen. As a preparation, I am reading three books on my Goodreads page (see the link to your right) and I will blog about them sometime this summer/fall. The books selected are a Thomas Merton classic, “The Wisdom of the Desert”, a modern classic bridging off Merton’s work by Henri Nouwen “The Way of the Heart” and then “On the Mountain with God” by Mark W. Hamilton. The house we are renting (I probably will not be camping!) is directly behind a park in Phoenix, a desert with mountains to hike. I am eagerly anticipating this adventure and am preparing myself spiritually to be fed by God.
Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.