Once, when I attended a workshop on teaching religion, a presenter talked about how he took his students on wilderness trips to give them a taste of life nearer the edge. Whether they went hiking or white water rafting, the point was to step outside their high-carb comfort zones long enough to encounter the untamed holiness of the wild.
‘Excuse me,’ a member of the audience said, ‘but are there predators in those places who are above you on the food chain?’
‘Well, of course not,’ the presenter said. ‘I wouldn’t put students in danger like that.’
‘I wouldn’t either,’ the man in the audience said, ‘but don’t lull them into thinking they have experienced true wilderness. It’s only wilderness if there’s something out there that can eat you.’
— Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith