Before and after – in between – wilderness
Elijah rests – Do you know what time it is? 6:30 – Mark’s gospel that’s when Jesus goes to rest – do I wake up feeling rested? Why or why not? At 6:30pm have a rested during the day? Taken just a moment to take care of myself?
All the good stuff happens in the wilderness – it just never feels good while it’s happening
The wilderness is where the people of God found their freedom – the exodus happened in the wilderness of the desert
The wilderness is where Jesus went after his baptism – fasted, prayed, was also tempted by the Tempter though – inevitably – just like Elijah – was waited on by the angels.
After the resurrection – the wilderness is where Peter meets the Eunuch – the first baptism of someone who did not profess to know anything even about Jesus – but wanted to understand what was all this stuff about the bread of life? Life abundant? That conversation and conversion happened in the wilderness
We’re in the wilderness more than we want to believe. We are inbetween the events that happen to us all the time – but we focus all our attention instead on what we believe we can control. We focus on when will this end – instead of – how am I living today – right now? Am I rested – am I taking care of myself – am I putting on my oxygen mask first so that I can help build up the rest of God’s beloved community?
The monks of the ancient past – the men and women who went out into the desert who created the first monastic communities – they understood the need to be present in the wilderness – to actually make some wilderness space – some set apart space to be with themselves and be with God.
“God has to undo our illusions about ourself secretly” – there is nothing like sitting alone – nothing to fiddle with or distract oneself than to be confronted by delusion upon delusion about ourselves. (Williams’ book?)