Now let's turn the question on us: do we need time in uncolonized wilderness to become more of our divine potential?
In my life, I've spent more than 1000 nights sleeping out in wild places, and I've spent more than a month at a time living and walking in mountains. I know from experience that the wilderness exposes the false self: obsessions with self-importance, addictions to comfort, illusions of independence and control. There are many places to learn these lessons, of course. But once you learn to thrive in the wilds for weeks at a time with just what you can carry and find, you become a little more fearless and a little more grace-filled. Spending time in wilderness builds our trust in the abundance of God and the untamed gift economy that creation provides. Empire starts to have less of a hold on you.
Wilderness helps us claim the radical stance of the prophet, based upon undomesticated communion with God. Occupied and addicted as we are, from wilderness we gain the clarity to defy dominant culture, define authentic living, and practice creative cultural resistance. A new life unshackled by Empire becomes possible, once way opens in wilderness.
Which brings us to next week's topic: A Way Forged in the Wild—Sabbath Mind, Abundant Life.