Being able to figure out what the heck is going on isn’t exactly a luxury that I come by easily. I don’t mean to say that I am just some thoughtless, dumb female with no capabilities of reasonable thinking, but rather that in the grand scheme of life I am completely surrounded by a seemingly endless wilderness.
I feel like the idea of wilderness always gets a bad rap. So just for purposes of clarity I am going to define my usage and understanding of wilderness in this context. Wilderness is completely untouched by human hands; completely uncivilized. It has such wonderful possibilities of beauty. Wilderness is something in which you get lost. Wilderness is not knowing where you are because everything, while entirely beautiful, looks so similar yet so vastly different that you have no idea which direction you are headed. Wilderness is where you find pure, perfect beauty and Truth. Wilderness is where it doesn’t really matter what direction you are going, but rather despite the complete state of confusion it might cause, the only thing that really matters is being there because it is there that begins to feel more like home than anything else.
The idea of knowing everything for certain is so very overrated. It’s instilled in us from birth, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What are you doing after high school?” “What do you plan to do after college?” “When are you getting married?” and the list goes on and on. We so often apply this whole crap about figuring life out to God, and that is where our minds take such a disastrous turn, for several reasons. One: we will never figure God out. ever. end of story. Two: the more we think about who God is, what He likes, what His plans are, facts about the Bible, anything, the less and less we will realize we understand and the more confused we get. Three: if we ever actually want to know God more, from what I have experienced, it happens more in the confusion and the wilderness than in any type of solid understanding. So the pressure to figure out my life has always weighted so heavy upon the way I think, and as of recently I have decided to give it a huck (in the words of some good friends, meaning tossed that thinking aside). I give up trying to live within the box of society. I give up trying to figure out my life, which is so young, and so open. I give up caring that society will think I’m aimless and worthless because I am free to go where the wind (or rather God) takes me and have no “life plan.” [Note: I say these things with the humble intention of living this lifestyle, I am not saying that it will be easily achieved in any manner.] I still have my desires and my passions that I wish so whole heartedly would be fulfilled, but that in itself is a struggle that I face on a daily basis and goes along with learning to live here, in this wilderness that is so expansive that I will never get oriented.
I see now, more so than ever before, why God took His people into the wilderness. It is a glorious expanse of land where there is nothing but unadulterated trust and dependence upon God for everything that they could ever desire. I stood on a high point and looked out toward the Judean wilderness and saw the great rolling hills of chalky soil that made up the home of the Israelites so long ago, and realized that this is where my heart so desires to live; here in complete communion with God, no presuppositions, no distractions.
So here I stand. Here’s to learning how to live in the wilderness.