For this, my determined attempt at struggling back onto the blog challenge Wagon, I offer a few quotes on today’s subject:
“I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.” – Walt Disney
“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” – Charles Lindbergh
“It is like living in a wilderness of mirrors. No fact goes unchallenged.” – Bruce Babbitt
“Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.” – Henry David Thoreau
Once you get over thinking, “Wow! If Walt could only see Disney World these days,” you can begin to appreciate the wide applications of the idea of wilderness, both literally and metaphorically.
One of my personal favorites is the wilderness of the biblical exodus. Well over 20 years ago, the pastor at my church at the time was preaching through the book of Exodus, and I remember him commenting how God could have easily chosen to shorten the days of Israel’s wanderings. But there was purpose in those 40 years. His admonition for our little flock was to remember that God could do the same for us. In whatever wilderness we might currently have been wandering, he assured us that it was completely within God’s power to remove us from it instantly. If He didn’t, we could be confident that there was a reason why we were still there.
I’ve thought of that lesson many times over the years as I’ve either strayed into a wilderness by my own neglect or a providential plunging which can only be ascribed to God’s good purposes. Often in such wanderings my eyes are either darting around so furiously in panic, or fixed so determinedly on my outward bound path, that I am oblivious to intersecting the wilderness routes of others. Sometimes I get frustrated with my fellow pilgrims because I assume they’re just being foolish and annoying as they zip along their merry highway, when it is likely they may be panicked or determined, too. I think most of us are usually in some kind of wilderness at least part of the time. I need to be more thoughtful and compassionate.
John the Baptist was a man of the wilderness. He ate locust and honey. When I was growing up and my family went on outdoor excursions, we ate Wilderness Sandwiches. They weren’t crunchy with locusts, but they were sweet like honey – and filled with carbs and protein for energy. To make Wilderness Sandwiches, you must either start with a pancake dinner or a pancake breakfast and intentionally make extra pancakes to use in the sandwiches. You take the pancakes, spread a thin layer of brown sugar on each, place a piece of crisp bacon in the center, and roll it up. I guess today, we’d call these Wilderness Wraps, but back then wraps were what we used to keep us warm on the trail. No matter what you call them, they’re good for sustaining you through a day of wandering in the wilderness – the real OR the metaphorical.