Right now I’m in the Arizona/Mexico desert. I’m far from my normal life, and the places where I normally write. But as an author and a man I am exactly where I need to be.
In the Bible the desert has always been a place of growing developing. A place of transition between one thing and another. Similar to the Belly of the Whale where Jonah spent three days before being spit onto the shore, the men and women of the Bible who went through the desert always came out on the other side changed. Indeed, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before he started his ministry. The Children of Israel spent 40 years. David fled there before becoming king, and Elijah was there when he was carried into the Heaven.
Right now I am also in a literal desert. And like those who have gone before me I find myself growing, changing, and transitioning into a new phase of my life.
With my 27th birthday only a few short weeks away I am once again going through my yearly tradition of reassessing my life and determining if I am the man I’ve sought to be. This year I’ve found myself spending this time on the southern border of the United States, and the central question of my life is my spiritual development.
Every year my grandmother spends two months out here with friends. When she’s done she needs someone to driver her back to Colorado. This year was my turn, and I’ve been here with my grandmother since last week (we start driving home tomorrow). The result has been a time of spiritual reawakening: of asking myself what role I have given faith in my life lately. The answer to that question has been sobering. Over the last few years there have been serious aspects of my faith that have been left unattended. This, inevitably, couldn’t last.
So, here I am, growing and changing like a good character in a book, being asked to face the things I don’t want to. It’s time for me to relearn humility, passion, and the reality that God is not a really great backup plan. Mostly, I’m learning to worship. Though I am excited to get back to my home in Colorado so I can start work on my new novel, I also know that this, right now, is where I belong.
Where are you? And what desert has God called you to travel through at this time in your life?