40 Days of Wilderness: Day 1

40 days and nights committed to exploring the scary places in my mind, life, and faith in order to meditate on the question: What does it mean to trust in God? Updates every five days.

Sometimes when I think about trusting God, I feel brave. Sometimes I feel grateful, mature, blessed. Often, I also feel conflicted, bordering on foolish.

I don’t doubt God’s existence. I’ve had enough surreal experiences to believe in something out there, and many of these experiences seem to relate directly to my prayers.

40 Daysin thewilderness
I don’t even doubt God’s inherent goodness, though that’s why I so often feel naive.

But I doubt life works out for the best for all people, and I don’t know, then, what I should hope for or trust in. I sometimes doubt we’re all equally held, cherished, protected. I question the verses saying God will give you all the desires of your heart, and I question how trusting in God will make my life better. What is better? What is that supposed to mean?

I question my own ability to be faithful: to be disciplined in my devotion to God and discerning in my choices. I often worry I’m fucking everything up and blaming it on God. If this is not just a relationship between me and God, but a partnership (a covenant), then what is my responsibility and what is God’s? How do we both live up to our ends of the deal?

According to Merriam-Webster, a wilderness is “a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings — an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community”

A wilderness area can be beautiful, but it is ground without a set path. Alone in a wilderness. It’s easy to feel lost. There are endless possibilities to wander, and no clear direction, no easy answers.

I don’t expect — I don’t know if I even want — to find a clear path or a clear answer to my questions. What am I looking for by exploring my the scary places of my faith? I’m looking for more intimacy with God and more peace about my own decisions. I’m looking for light and hope through the trees.

Image by Joan Sorolla

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