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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Couldn't we all use the company/ When days don't last..."

"Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things."
-Psalm 107:4-9

There comes a time in a man's life when he cannot find direction and growth seems to elude him. No matter how far he walks or how long he runs, he cannot distinguish were he is from where he was. No progress can be made when his world is all shifting sands and shadows. It is a place of weary limbs and dry souls, where questions ring out into the hot, stale air and hang there without a breeze to bring the answers. Everything about it is dry, save for a scent in the air. It is the scent of water, the scent of hope, the scent of Oasis. It is the promise of answers. It is the promise of life. It is everywhere and it is nowhere, ever-present but never more than a reminder of what is missing. It cannot be found by effort and no amount of searching will uncover the path to its source. The desert is the path. The desert is a forge. Identity is never found, it is given and it is made. Sometimes it is only beneath the weight of his own emptiness that who a man thinks he is can be broken and who he really is can be formed. The old, the comfortable must be replaced for a time with pain. Everything is torn away by the pain and the thirst until only two remain in the desert: Truth and the broken man. It is only then when he stops seeking his own way and sits at the feet of Truth in the middle of the desert night that his path is made clear. It is only then when he learns to surrender his questions that answers will come. It is only then that he is defined. It is only then that he becomes who he is.
The desert is a forge.
It is the Desert of Breaking.
It is the Desert of Defining.
It is the Desert of surrender and out of it will walk a man.