Monday, February 27, 2006

The Desert

Here I stand in the desert. Sand, sage brush and dead wood. I would call it lifeless if it were not for the carrion circling about waiting for my demise and their dinner. How do I get out of this place? North, south, east, west? I was going somewhere... I'm trying to remember... The memory is fading like last night's dream. It was important to get there, I remember that much. In fact, I was willing to die trying. But now, lost in this desert, I wonder. The desert is all I can see. My heavy pack bites into my shoulders. The vast emptiness is crushing my soul. If only there was someone, anyone out here with me. Someone who knows the way. Someone who can help me remember. Someone to confirm that I am still alive and I still matter.

Life is like this desert. Everyday is the same. The details differ, but each day has the same meaning. Looking back, these days look like the desert. Sand, sage brush and dead wood. What is the point? I went to work. I have earned money to pay for a little corner of this world to call home. In my little corner, I fill it with stuff. Books, music, entertainment. Stuff. I have stuff I haven't seen in years, but it is important to my life. Why? Tomorrow I will go to work so I can continue to have my corner and continue to buy more important stuff to fill it with.

So what is the point? Where am I going? I feel like I'm standing in the middle of the desert, pack full of stuff slung over my shoulder wondering which way to go. Truth is I don't know where to go from here. My only company are the carrion who cry out discouragement and criticism. I wonder, am I dead or alive?

Just when I have decided to give up, the disgruntled carrion scatter. A fresh breeze chases off the stale air. A spark of hope flickers in my soul. It is my friend. Joy I believed to be dead danced with life. I remember now. This journey is worth the risk. He has told me about a place full of life and love. A place where joy never ends and sorrow is left behind. I could never afford the cost of living in such a place, I told him. I was confounded when he laughed. He had already paid my way. All I had to do was follow him there. Leaving my pack behind, I ran to catch up.

I am still following him through this desert to the promised land. There are times that I'm right behind him. I sing as I walk, telling everybody about my friend and his extravagant offer. I wish I could say it was always this way, not just times. There are other times I get distracted by stuff. Something I find along the way that looks cool and is exciting for a while. I put the stuff in a pack so I won't lose it. After all, this is important stuff. It isn't long before my pack is full. I've lost sight of my friend. I have become discouraged. Eventhough I have let my friend down, he always comes looking for me. He usually shows up just when I'm ready to give up.

Thank you Jesus for being my best friend, my savior, my God.