Stand at the crossing, and consider the ancient path, for it is good and it leads to Me. Walk on this path, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
Something has been calling to me lately from the backcountry of my soul. It’s difficult to describe, but It is a place of longing–a wide open space–deep, and weighty. I am drawn to it. Maybe its not so much a place, but a journey outside of the material, technological, fake plastic world around me. It whispers truth, and lies beyond all institutions; religion, politics, social structures, and the like.
I hear it calling when I’m in the mountains, or in the wilderness. It beckons from rivers and streams. I hear it in waterfalls and see it in sunsets and sunrises. It’s beauty, wildness, and adventure that awakens my soul. I’ve never been one to look at beauty and be satisfied; I want to be in it, to jump in the ocean, climb on the cliffs, summit the mountain. Climbing the tallest tree I could find when I was a boy comes to mind. Danger, risk, courage, and adventure were a part of me long before the world convinced me that safety and security were to be sought after…at all cost.
“Notice that in the tales told in Scripture, whenever God gets hold of a man he takes that man into an adventure of the first order.” -John Eldredge, Fathered by God
Last weekend I attended an event in Colorado based on John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart. It was exactly five years ago that I attended my first one, and it completely altered my path. It was there that God called me “son” for the first time; it was gold, and I knew it was true. I wanted to go back there this year to reflect on the last five years with Him.
At the event, John said “There is something calling to us from the stories that we love.” Its true, epic stories wouldn’t move us if they didn’t awaken some eternal truth. Every epic tale borrows from our true story–told since the beginning of time. Life was once good, but we fell into evil at the hands of a powerful enemy. We struggle, we battle, we bleed. And we are rescued by a valiant hero-warrior; one who is whole-hearted, loves us enough to die for us, and does.
So when I see an epic film, or read some mythic story, truth is awakened in me. It reminds me that I am part of something bigger. Its like a breath of fresh air. Life is so much more than we’ve been led to believe. We have a part in this adventure, we have a part in the battle, and the coolest part–we, alongside the hero, have a part in the rescue.
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” -Frederick Buechner
Since my rescue five years ago, I’ve been led into some of the darkest places in my story. I believe that is necessary for Abba to restore us. He knows, much better than we what is needed for the restoration of our hearts. He knows that we will need to be whole-hearted for the story He is inviting us into. And above all else, in Proverbs 4:23 we are instructed to “guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Each of us has a heart that has been assaulted, battered, bruised, and broken. Our hearts matter to Him, and He takes it’s restoration very seriously.
I am embarking on a new adventure now. I’ve relocated across the country, at great cost, to attend a ministry school. It is my hope that I become further grounded in truth and grow more into my identity as Abba’s son, and image bearer. That I discover which group of Gods kids that my unique passion can serve. That I will grow in love. I desperately want His heart for people–to love them like He does.
Father, I am standing at the crossing, and asking for the ancient path, the one that will lead me to you, where I will find rest for my soul. So be it.
Standing at the crossing feels very real to me right now, and I am choosing the ancient path. I cant say exactly what that is, but I have the nudging, and footprints of legends to follow. It isn’t safe, but it is good.