lessons from the wilderness

What is this proverbial desert that we place ourselves for reflection during a time of sacrifice and discipline?

From the pulpit, it was mentioned that most people have never really visited a desert unless it was for a round of golf or some packaged outdoor adventure. What then is 40 days of being challenged by our vulnerabilities and meeting them headstrong?

I’ve met the desert for a round of golf in Palm Springs. I’ve met the desert in various local garden estates. And I’ve spent one memorable evening where I’ve literally slept in the middle of the desert. It’s still a mere blink to the amount of time Jesus spent to contemplate and confront what is weakness and what is strength.

But I can tell you that the desert is not a gentle place. I thought my friend was absolutely mad to play a round of golf at PGA West on a summer afternoon under a blazing sky with temperatures over 100. And this past weekend walking through the beautiful desert garden at the Huntington estate, I realized the pricklies looked lethal….definitely avoid cacti should you be pursued by zombies.

The proverbial desert was not far once I recalled my fleeting experiences. And with vivid memories of awe mixed with remembering the discomforts of being pushed against boundary, I recalled the fragility of being human and the challenge to stay “chill” as each passing hour either got extremely hot or extremely cold.

So what is Lent to me while I sit in the comfort of my apartment sheltered from the rain outside?
Perhaps it is to find a silence where I may reflect on the terrain of my life and see what feeling vulnerable is like.    What will come up should I challenge certain constructs and appetites?

We are creatures of habit; always hunting and gathering.  But we are not meant to hold on to everything too tightly. We are designed to survive lean times… really lean times. We are designed to endure and still embrace serenity. We are designed to be creative during challenging times.

And yet how many of us collect or hoard things? How many of us have a scarcity mentality that eat away our faith and hope?

This Lent season, I encourage you to consider your wilderness, your sacrifices that you choose on purpose to create a conversation with discipline and understanding that perhaps there is a border where discomfort happens and you can see your fragile humanity and strengthen your spirit and faith.

Don’t forget… as much as the desert wildnerness may be challenging… it is also breathtaking.



~ by jnetsworld on February 20, 2013.


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