In the Wilderness Training series I write about experiencing the unforgettable thrill of summiting high, intimidating mountains; the expedition strenuous and against heart, exhausting, demanding and relentless. All the while experiencing the desperate need for rest, energy, endurance, and physical ability that is beyond what I’m actually capable of. Pressing-in, pressing onward, a can-not-fail attitude was developed as I struggled for every breath; the high-altitude air so very thin and miserly. I’m also humbled at my desperate need for vital union with Him. Despite the pain and difficulty, I joy and revel in His creation as I climb, captivated with the passing vistas and wildlife sightings. He is with me on my journeys, on the pleasant, no-stress leisure hikes as well as the dry, hot, draining struggle to place one-foot-in-front-of-the other journeys. Metaphorically and physically. In sickness and in health HE is there for me. Yes, it is very much like that.
The days destination acquired, the mountains deeply fresh air, is moist and sweet-smelling. The cool marine layer seems to enliven the natural scent from the abundant trees, flowers and native shrubs. I simply stand where I am, taking-in the pleasures of the beauty before me. A slight movement in the tree ahead of me steals my attention, my eyes shift to the source as I remain completely still. I don’t move in case this is something I do not want to frighten away. A small bird has poked its head out from the thick leaves and is looking at me. It cocks its head, twitching sharply, nervously side-to-side to get a better view, studying my position as friend or foe. Apparently, I’m not all that threatening, it zips back into its hide, chirping away. Just how cute was that?
If I didn’t take the time to simply be still and enjoy the environment, I’d miss these cute moments. I think I have actually developed a relationship with the wilderness. Relationships shouldn’t be on the move or busy, which tends to crowd out the intimate times. Relationship is best when relaxed, unhurried, cherished.
In my early travels I was nearly trampled by a panicked and really large deer, that if I had not stopped to listen to the unfamiliar sound of its panicked hoof’s clamoring on rock I would have been severely injured. It’s shoulders where higher than my own. One more step, one more stride and I would have been severely injured. I will never forget the eye-to-eye contact we had as it ran past me into the camouflaging brush on the side of the trail.
How many times have I neglected to turn my ear to His Spirit prompting me, am I continuing to listen for Him? Am I hearing Him daily, hourly, minute by minute before I make a decision, or any turn of the chapters of my life? Only He knows what is truly best for me, and what is or isn’t ahead for me and those who my life will touch, however transient.
So, daily, it’s an absolute MUST: I need to double-check myself: Am I actively seeking His will, and staying on-course? Am I listening to His gentle Voice, and importantly, am I submitted to His Voice, obedient? Do I savor His presence, His leading? It’s time I be more diligent about this before I offend His Spirit in my hurried, distracted processing of daily life.
How about you?