• Five Minute Friday Wander Linkup
J.R.R. Tolkien's meme-worthy, "all who wander are not lost" never stops making internet rounds. That's not my reference today, yet ties in well with what I want to say for this week's one-word free write.
The classic scriptural place – locus classicus – of "wander" remains the trek through the exodus desert testified to in the pentateuch and reenacted at passover and in the eucharist. We sometimes refer to that wandering as identity-forming, though Israel's liberation from imperial slavery was the true watershed without which a future couldn't be, but then again there was God's grace-filled gift of the Ten Words at Sinai that covenanted together God and people and land—and without which no community could long survive. So what's up with all of us today as COVID-19 trends away from the center of our news reports and the inconveniences of our lives?
Sometimes we view deserts as lifeless, but it doesn't take a geographer or geologist to realize how incredibly lively and life-giving the desert biome is underneath the apparently still surface. Doesn't that make a desert a close to perfect place to wander and grow? To trust God's surprising next thing? Because just as the desert carries only an appearance of lifeless, God's people assume only an appearance of lostness.
In words from late Ragamuffin gospeler Brennan Manning, "In the desert Yahweh and Israel rendezvoused with each other." We continue to wander through normalcy-deserted pandemic toward what never will become anyone's new normal; God continues to challenge us to trust divine provision, to acknowledge the sufficiency and "enoughness" of his daily supply, to focus on that essential what's really important with each other as we wander on to places God has prepared.