Business as Unusual

Unless you're a professional guide, there's nothing about the wilderness that is business as usual—it's more business as unusual. That's sort of the whole point about the wilderness. If it was usual . . . well, it wouldn't be the wilderness.

There's certainly not shortage of unusual in our current wilderness and much of it isn't desirable: the virus is spreading, some medical supplies are in scant supply, the economy is in free fall, and the FBI is warning us about people taking advantage of the times to scam folks through fake charity emails. Sigh.

But the scammers are right in recognizing that business as unusual means opportunity—and there are plenty of ones available. We're putting dents in our "to do" lists and spending quantity time with our families. Many have drawn closer to God and have deepened their prayer lives. Then there are those who are donating, volunteering and aiding. The truth is, once you get past what we can't do, opportunities abound!

That's exactly the way it is in the wilderness. God can use it to enlarge our perspective (and our heart). to teach us new things about ourselves and others, and open doors of ministry. But none of these opportunities will happen if we're too busy trying to lug our expresso machine along in an effort to domesticate the wilderness. Christ chose not to turn the stones into bread—He wanted the experience of the wilderness. He wanted a holy hunger.

To be sure, there are parts of the wilderness that aren't good and we want to avoid (ticks, snakes, getting lost). Let's be discerning and separate the wheat from the chaff. Let's be like Mary and have the courage to open ourselves up to the good part of the wilderness.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faithof greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by firemay result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

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