When we go out into the wilderness, we’re setting ourselves up for an adventure – or even more than one adventure. We’re submitting ourselves to the whims of the winds, the weather, the trail, the animals that live there. We’re stepping out of our comfort zone and into something that we’ve never seen before, have only read about, and that we cannot control. We’re letting go, so that we can have that adventure.
Still, we feel pretty safe. Today, with our cars and houses and ample camping gear, we feel pretty safe when we go out in the wilderness. After all, our GPS will take us back to the comfort of our vehicle if we somehow get off the trail or just stay out too long and get back after dark, and then we can drive to our nice, warm home, make a hot meal, and go to bed thinking what a wonderful day we had.
The adventure is often fun – exploring new places, seeing new things, experiencing new sensations. But if someone is desperate to be in control, adventure is not fun. Adventure means letting go, taking things as they come, carrying through with the plan while being ready to drop the plan at any moment as conditions change.
For some people, that’s not a fun place to be. They would prefer a little more consistency, a little less of the unknown. But that’s not an adventure – at least, not a true adventure.
Adventures in the wilderness can be quite exciting at times (I’m thinking of trails buried under the snow and thunderstorms at 14,000ft.), or sometimes so peaceful and restful that it’s hard to quantify it as an “adventure”.
Still, the adventures in the wilderness at times mirror the adventures we experience in our relationship with God. I’m sure you’ve heard about “climbing mountains” or “going through valleys” in our Christian experience. It’s all part of the adventure; all part of following God, of walking with God, through this lifetime.
I made t-shirts for my family many years ago for Christmas; they read, “If you’re walking with Jesus, you’re on an Adventure.” You can’t escape adventure in the wilderness, and you can’t escape adventure if you’re walking with God.
You can try to make the adventure a bit more tame. Stay at the viewpoints along the park road; walk the nature trail; don’t get too far out into the unknown. Go to church, say your prayers, read your Bible, but don’t become a “religious nut” (to which I have to respond, if I’m a religious nut, at least I’m screwed onto the right bolt!)
You can control your adventure. Or you can have an adventure. They are not one in the same; you can’t have both of them, together.
I’m not suggesting being foolish or going out completely unprepared. Even in our walk with God we must be prepared to keep going with Him, to trust Him and His character. But unless we can let go, we will never experience Adventure in God – or in the wilderness.