What is your wilderness?
As I begin to prepare for my sermon this upcoming Sunday, my initial thoughts about the passage brought me the wilderness. I think throughout our lives there are different instances that can feel like a wilderness. Some people may think of anywhere that is full of nature and has wild things like animals or plants they do not see every day, but at some point throughout my studies in religion, I have come to associate wilderness with the Greek word from the Bible. The word itself can be translated as wilderness, but also desert. Not only that, but the word for wilderness or desert is related to adjectives like desolate, solitary, and deprived.
So, when I think of a place of wilderness, I think of a solitary place, a desolate place, an empty place. I think of being overworked in a busy season, or being in the midst of a major depressive dip, or living somewhere that community is scarce. I don’t think we have to go somewhere with the wild things to experience the wilderness. Instead, sometimes, the wilderness comes from within us, or around us. Eventually, we have to make that trek through it and end up in the middle of it or on the other side. Or, maybe the other side and the middle are not so different after all.