The desert or mountain man was forever lifting his eyes to the peaks or to the stars; it was no wonder that men of the wilderness knew so much about the flight of birds and the habits of animals. In cities a man’s eyes were on the ground, or rarely above eye level.”
“For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.”
–Psalm 31:3 (NKJV)
We live in a world that encourages us to go faster, faster, faster. Seek more thrills, get to the top without working your way up, no matter how, just get there. Go higher, go longer, go faster. Whew, I’m starting to sweat just thinking of the effort. Get a faster drive, you need to get on the internet quicker. Hasten your pace, you’re going too slow. Go, go, go, and if we’re not careful even as Christians we can get in the proverbial rat-race around us.
Barbara Kingsolver said that we “need to be able to taste grace and know once again that we desire it.” Ponder that for I think we often forget grace. Oh, we remember it when we’re in a bind. But we don’t take the time to “taste” it. We get so busy with life that we forget to rest. Few will get eight hours of sleep, and fewer yet will have a good night’s sleep. Their body may be supine but their mind is still racing as they go to bed. Sometimes it is planning for tomorrow, or worrying about their bank account or lack of it.
There is so much to do that we don’t think of God’s grace unless someone reminds us, or perhaps we’re in a church service instead of watching the kids play ball. Go here, go there, and we either take the kids with us or we go because of them. What are we teaching children if on Monday they have basketball, on Tuesday gymnastics, on Wednesday instead of church it is tumbling, Thursday might be a night to recover, but no, there’s a party, and Friday, my land, Friday is game night. On top of it all there is practice after school and in the morning before school there is band practice. Whew, the youngster can’t rest, and when they do they head straight for their phone or the game room.
Have you ever sat watching the sunrise with all of its different hues? Now I don’t expect the kids to get up to see it, but they can look out over the lake in the evening and watch it set. The Holy Spirit is a masterful painter. His artwork is never the same and it is amazing how He moves and mixes the colors. How about on the plains, looking at the wind blowing the wheatfields as if they were waves of the sea and in the distance you can see a storm brewing, smell the coming rain, and even see it falling miles from where you are standing.
“Wilderness puts us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully.” (Barbara Kingsolver) Rush around all the time, and you’re children will do the same a generation later. Refuse to meditate on God’s Word and contemplate it because you do not have the time, a generation later people will question the foundational truths of God’s Word.
“But I don’t have time to go to the wilderness or view the grandeurs of God’s wondrous creation.” I’m not saying that you have to go, but you can gaze at a landscape or observe the delicacy of a beautiful flower. Look at it. Amazing, the creative hand of God! Truly it is better to actually be out in the wild, but I understand, due to our craziness and the place in which we have placed ourselves we can’t always get away. But we can view, observe, hope and wish, long for, and take time to view, if not first-hand, the through pictures, creation.
Remember, God sent Moses into the wilderness for forty years to learn about it. Jesus, right after He was baptized was driven into the wilderness. Paul spent three years in the wilderness learning to see a clearer and more indepth picture of God. It is vital to our soul that we seek time in the “wilderness” to commune with God. When you go, take a notebook and your Bible and ponder waiting and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus often went to the wilderness to be by Himself, no that is not right, to be with His Father. He took time, “On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.” (Matthew 13:1, NKJV)
This is one reason that I title my morning devotions, “Echoes From the Campfire.” Look at the flames, how they flicker, how they reach for oxygen. Remember, times of past campfires, or if you’re not a camper a special occasion with the family. Was God speaking to you then? Did you hear His voice, or miss it? How about now, as you see the mystical flames of the campfire, what are they echoing? As I have said many times, “Life is living,” not rushing to and from searching for this and that and worrying about the next paycheck or how you’re going to pay for gas, and what if the shelves are empty, and what about the next pandemic? Relax, rest in the Lord for He cares for you.