Trust in the Wilderness

I have moments when I think back nostalgically to life “before the virus.” I was flying constantly from city to city. I would speak at conferences, travel to clients, eat at restaurants, stay in hotels, jump in rideshares, go to the gym…everything was effortless.

I can’t say that I loved that life. Life as a “road warrior” wears you down. But I think back now at the ease with which I could navigate life, and I wish for just a taste of it again.

Erika Fine in her poem, “Wish” gave words to my longing:

Wish

The weeks go by, the fourth, the fifth,
And normalcy’s become a myth.
I want to hug, I want to hold,
I want this deadly scourge controlled.
I want to walk amidst a crowd.
I want to lift this morbid shroud.
I sit, sequestered in my home,
And yearn to mingle, travel, roam.
My energy is out of whack —
I want my normal problems back.


I think about Moses and the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. The story tells of the Israelites gathering before Moses and his brother Aaron to complain. “Why didn’t you just let us die in slavery? We want to go back,” they told him. “We miss what we knew. At least we had decent food.”

God hears their cries and sends bread raining down from the sky so that they would know that they were not alone on the journey. God was with them. They must continue on, trusting that the land they were traveling to was better than what they left behind.

Some stories never die because they reveal the core of the human experience.

We are wandering in the wilderness. We left a world that we knew. We lived exhausting lives driven by unsustainable systems, but we knew the rat race. Now, we don’t know. We don’t know what is happening with this virus. We don’t know what is happening with our elections. We don’t know what is happening with our economy. We don’t know what is happening with our schools. We don’t know.

But the Story of God always says, “You are not alone. You are never abandoned. I am with you every step of the way.” It’s the Sacred Story told from the beginning of time.

Because of that promise, we can trust that the world we create together is better than the world we are leaving behind. We have a long way to go. We have challenging days ahead. We will experience setbacks and have moments of deep discouragement. But we are on the right journey for this time. With every step we take and every day that passes, we are waking up to the potential God has seen in us all along. We are becoming the Beloved Community.

So, God keeps sending us bread and says, “Carry on, dear ones. Keep the faith. Together we are creating a new, better world for all.”

May it be so,

Cameron


Prayer for the Week

Loving God,

Make me an instrument of your love,
that I might be
patient
kind
generous
compassionate
in all things,
toward all people,
for all my days.

Amen.

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