Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Gift of Wilderness

"In my attempts to go into the wilderness on my 'spiritual retreat,' I had not yet gone deep enough.I thought the object of the time was to immerse myself in prayer and Scripture. I forgot that the object was actually God, that real prayer is what happens when my head and heart are fully exposed to Him.

God hadn't drawn me into the wilderness so I could attempt to prove myself to him with religious activity (instead of the more secular activities I indulge in to prove myself to everyone else). He hadn't brought me away from the hustle and noise so I could demonstrate my spirituality to Him. He brought me out to allure me. He didn't want my performance. He wanted my attention. And at that point I don't believe He was drawing me to a place where I could talk to Him. He was drawing me to a place where He could talk to me.

Obscurity is not punishment. The wilderness is the place where our identity is solidified. the wilderness has its perils, to be sure; yet in a sense, there is no safer place. In the wilderness we find out who we really are. We find out what we are afraid of. We find out who our enemies are."

 Prototype: What Happens When You Discover That You Are More Like Jesus Than You Think, by Jonathan Martin, pages 61-62