To be un-moving, idle- a pawn of my own life where routine is what I know. That is the person I don’t want to be, but sometimes don’t know how not to. I find myself, too often, unchallenged with the world around me. What I mean by that is, not being involved with God’s people. It’s a habit that I too easily fall into, choosing my comfort, my normal, my stable ways over the fearful, unpredictable, and the dubious.
My relationship with God is dynamic. He gave me a personality that can’t make up its mind, knowing who I want to be and how I want to do it is an impossible choice, and the ratio of dreaming and acting is so inconsistent its unhealthy.
So, when I need God to reach me, He does so in the most personal and intimate of ways. Where it is impossible to explain, as if it is our own language.
This stagnant way of living tends to sneak up on me. And to be honest, I am still trying to understand it. But God did something to me last weekend that is beyond my comprehension, and so worthy of sharing. So bear with me as I attempt to discuss this.
My prayer that tends to align with this still sense of time is for God to show me what it truly means to trust in Him. Because what happens to my heart is wonder and doubt on the strength of my faith. I ask myself, if it wasn’t this easy for me, would I give it all to Him, the way I remind those around me to do.
Like always, God took my prayer, threw me in my deepest fear, and met me there.
Last weekend I went solo backpacking for the first time as a trial run for future planned trips. As I have spoken before, my love for nature and the outdoors comes with the love for a God who created it all. So when I hike, I pray- I talk to Him, walking right there beside me on the trail. This trip, I prayed that prayer.
Little did I know what I was asking for. Many things went wrong on this trip- from the weather, to the gear, to the camp site. Nothing was too terrible until the moment I realized the research I had done, failed to properly explain the campsites. Essentially, there were none.
Long story short, I ended up having to set up camp in the middle of a national forest, where I wasn’t supposed to be, with a dog, that I wasn’t supposed to have in the forest, because of the wild bears and hogs, both of which, therefore, I was not prepared for.
Once I saw the sign that said I was entering the national forest, I froze. Taking out my map I was a solid hour and a half away from the nearest road, and it would have been pitch dark in 30 minutes. My best option was to toss my food, because I had no bear canister to hide it, and hope for the best.
Because of this time of year, I had almost 13 hours of darkness, and it was terrifying. The first couple of hours I spent holding my dog, trying to keep her calm from all the noises she didn’t recognize, and keep her from growling at potential predators. But I wasn’t brave for her.
Every time I heard sticks crack nearby, my heart beat so fast it could have burst, my body shook so hard I couldn’t control it, and the fear that overwhelmed my body was something I’ve never felt before.
Finally I realized the only comfort I would find is in the only one I’ve known- I cried out to God for hours. Asking Him to calm me, telling Him that my life is His, and that if something were to go wrong that night I would trust Him.
This may sound ridiculous to some. But that kind of situation is quite a fear of mine- and God decided it was time to strip me of my comfort, of my normal, and throw me head first into the unpredictable and the dubious.
I am still processing the emotions I felt those hours of darkness. I am sure there are many things that it taught me, but one is for sure. This is not some miraculous story with a deafening plot line and crazy ending. It is simply a story of how God is in control, and that my flesh and securities stripped away means surrendering to Him, fully and completely.