The Wilderness was beautiful. It was open, it was wild, it was free. It was full of opportunity and promise. But the Wilderness was also dangerous. Many did not see it that way, though.
Maybe this was because it was so enchanting and captivating. There also was a misguided thought one could live there as if there were no rules. But acknowledged or not, the Wilderness had rules.
There was an Outpost in the Wilderness. In earlier times it was more prominent then now. It had fallen on hard times. It once was the center of life in the Wilderness. Individuals and entire families would troupe to the Outpost, many doing so every week. It was unfathomable not to. One needed the Outpost.
They would rest. They would eat. They would reconnect. They would hear about life in the Wilderness from those who knew its perils and charms. They would hear of the Wilderness rules. Those who taught at the Outpost were not smarter than those who came, but they spoke of a wisdom that made life in the Wilderness better for all.
But less and less were now making the weekly trek. Some said the Outpost needed to change. That its old ways had lost its relevance and appeal. That it no longer had much to say or offer to a Wilderness that was changing. It was undeniable that it was changing. It was becoming less tame. It was becoming a wilder place. Some at the Outpost saw the growing lawlessness and unrestraint leading to bondage. The Wilderness scoffed at such a notion, just another example they said of old way thinking, explaining that it was evolving, shaking off the ignorance of the past.
It was not long before the Wilderness began to age and lose some of its luster. It was becoming darker even. As it did, there grew a greater contrast with the Outpost.
Tragically, some who did not notice the growing distinction saw less of a need to make the weekly travel. The Outpost feared a growing number were being swallowed up by the dark. Some stopped coming altogether. But those who made their weekly visit found the rest, food, and reconnection even more necessary and sweet. They still lived, like everyone, in the Wilderness. But the Outpost, by necessity, became an even more important journey.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Pastor Rich Hamlin
December 3, 2020