Since coming to the Inn in June, it’s been an eye-opener to watch the ebb and flow of people coming through. It’s reminded me once again the power of a “wilderness experience.” Getting out and away does something special to all of us, opening our hearts and minds to a whole new round of possibilities.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when God wants to move in someone’s life in a big way, he sends them out to the country.
But why do you suppose that is? What is it about a wilderness experience that prepares our hearts and minds to hear His voice? I think there are 3 main reasons…
- Place. Scripture tells us that we are His sheep and we hear the voice of the Shepherd. Did you get that? No qualifiers there. We. Hear. So if we’re not hearing the voice of God, it’s not that He’s not talking…it’s just that we’re in a noisy place where we can’t hear Him. So there’s something enormously beneficial about getting away to that quiet place so we can reconnect with that voice. When you get away to the wilderness, you put yourself in a place to be centered in His presence, surrounded by His voice.
- Pace. There’s something about getting away to the wilderness that gets us out of our comfort zone. Something about the change slows our pace, allowing us to see and take note of things we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Have you ever been caught in a traffic jam on the highway? As you creep along you glance out your window and see small rocks, old chewing gum, pieces of litter–things you never see when you’re flying by at 70 mph. It’s like when you drive for miles on a familiar road without even thinking about what you’re doing. You’re on auto-pilot. Life can be like that. A wilderness experience serves to change our pace, shaking things up and causing our brains to more fully engage with the world around us.
- Perspective. It’s an interesting thing about the mountains, they can look completely different when viewed from the other side. Looking at a mountain from the east, when you’re used to seeing it from the west can look like a whole new mountain. When you go to the wilderness it’s like picking yourself up and dropping into a whole other place…now looking at your life from the outside in. Your perspective on life, on your problems and challenges, and on your relationships all change when you go to the wilderness. The change in perspective gives you a whole new view of the possibilities.
So, is it time for you to head out to the wilderness? And “wilderness” doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a tent full of bugs. But you do need to find a place that represents a significant change to what you’re used to. Go with lots of purpose but not much of a plan. Go with a mind wide open.
Don’t forget to take along a journal and get ready to write. God longs to share His heart with you. He’s been waiting for you to get away, by yourself, to a lonely place, and rest awhile.