As I mentioned in the previous post my perspective on the word "wilderness" changed big time during this experience. Today I would like to unpack what I learned about what wilderness really means to me now.
First off our group knew we were going into the wilderness and that thought alone terrified some of the people in our group. With the thought of no running water, no electricity or no showers, (except a water fall) some people were seriously out of their comfort zone and into the unknown, the wilderness. Poison Ivy, bug bites and even the possibility of a wild animal or two didn't help to ease the minds of a few people either. No doubt we would be going into the wilderness alright!
Oh yeah did I mention the horrible outhouse yet? I think that thing was everyone's worst nightmare!
(Yeah that's me with a sucker in my mouth!)
But even though we knew we were heading into the great unknown that is the wilderness, we were seriously excited about it because we knew that we were going to be stretched. Little did we know that God was going to completely change everything we knew!
The longer we were there the more we realized that everywhere we looked we could find God! The plants, the trees, the fire, the insects, creatures and bugs, the stars at night and even the sound of running water. Everywhere we looked we found God. And you know what? The longer we were there the louder he got!
Simple things like hiking down the side of the mountain turned into spiritual perspectives like how you have to carefully place each foot in order not to fall. Working as a team so encouragement, love and support would be found. And facing every fear just knowing that someone was there to help you when you needed it.
The wilderness opened our eyes to the true wilderness we are living in today. This wilderness is one filled with media, technology and busyness. A place where having a heart for God is easily deterred and placing your faith in him (instead of in oneself) is so much harder!
In the wilderness you have to rely on God for a lot of things. Faith, trust, courage and discipline but in this wilderness we are set up for failure because we think we can do everything. We have the resources in this wilderness to become dependent on ourselves and less reliant on God. In this wilderness we see all too often our wants instead of our true needs!
To drive this point home I fall back to the place in scripture where Adam and Eve are first driven out of the garden of Eden Genesis 3:23. Because they sinned and disobeyed God they were separated from the closeness that they were created to share with God and thrown into the wilderness (not as close to God). Now what I take away from this is that a separation from God is true wilderness. The more separated we are from him the deeper into the wilderness we are. So likewise, the closer we get to God, further and further out of the wilderness we get.
Again the point being the more distractions we have the more into the wilderness we are because with distractions comes the potential for separation.
So how far into the wilderness have you become in your relationship with God?
What distractions keep you from being able to fully rely on him?
Do you think you are in the wilderness or do you believe that things are okay where you are?
Maybe a trip into the "wilderness" is just what you need to get out of the wilderness!