Thursday, December 13, 2012

Expectant in Bethlehem: Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

Take delight in the Lord,
   and he shall give you your heart's desire. 
   Psalm 37:4

“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?” my friend queries as she begins her homily. I am arrested by this question and don’t hear what she says next. Is that what I am supposed to do in the wilderness, I wonder? To look for something? I don’t perceive of my excursions into the wilderness as fact-finding missions, I realize. When I intentionally seek out the wilderness, I am usually in flight mode. I flee to the wilderness to escape the noise and chaos of my life. I yearn for the desert island without cell tower, meetings or homework assignments. I am not planning to look for or at anything.

Then there are the times I find myself cast into a wilderness not of my own choosing, a place of loneliness and deprivation. My stance at these times is usually one of endurance. I simply need to survive this dry spell and then I will be all right.

I’m not sure I have ever gone out into the desert to look for something. But now I wonder. Perhaps the desert isn’t “other,” but part of one whole.

What if my heart’s desire resides in the wilderness? What might I find in the wilderness if I go seeking?

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2012