Spending time in the desert

I appreciate the desert. I mean this both literally and spiritually. Being in Phoenix and its surroundings this last week in its 105+ temperatures have reminded me of the impact the desert has had upon both my life journey and my spiritual journey.

Spending any time in the desert one learns very quickly how critical preparation and prevention are. Staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight, planning more strenuous outdoor activities for early morning or later evening are a way of life.

The same is true in my experience of times in our spiritual deserts. It is essential to find a way to fill up our “empty bucket”,  to engage in those things that truly fill us and nurture us. Likewise it is important to avoid those things that we know drag us down or even worse cause harm to our spiritual health. And finally, we need to discover or rediscover a life rhythm, a life discipline that will consistently be life giving.

I understand our tendency to avoid the desert – either version. And yet, we must remember it was there after his baptism that Jesus moved more fully into that which he was being called to do and be. The same may be true for us.