Ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels, going nowhere fast, just getting by for the sake of getting by? I think we’ve all been there. However, we rarely stop to recognize why and how we came to be in this state of inertia: in the wasteland.
It’s never the actions of others that call us to leave our first love and go off into a wasteland. It is always the conscious decisions we make for ourselves. And the consequences of those decisions is the wasteland, an empty desert without water of food: the barrenness of a life without the water and bread of life: Unfulfilled, dissatisfied, unhappy, and alone.
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”–Luke 15:17
“He came to himself….” One day we will wake up and find that we are in a far country, in a desert place. The wasteland of our souls, not our bodies. Unlike the Prodigal Child, we can be in our Father’s house and at the same time, our heart is in the wasteland and the far country.
The Wandering Heart
You see, it’s not as sudden and surprising as we want to make it. We want it to be someone else’s fault that we fell away from the faith or stepped back from our personal walk with Christ. But, it’s not someone else’s fault. Ever since Adam, mankind has blamed Satan and each other for mistakes. But the blame that goes up must come down; and it inevitably falls back on the head of the one who threw it.
You see, we don’t wake up one day and find that we desire the far country. We are suddenly there through a slow, methodical seduction that is subversive and subliminal. We don’t see it, but over time, our wicked heart desires the things of the world and slowly pulls us farther away from the truth. It’s not until we arrive at the far country and realize it is a wasteland and not a pleasure fair, that we see what has truly happened.
We can’t win if we don’t fight. The most common reason for discomfort and discontent among Christians is a refusal to leave the wasteland. It’s miserable to stay and the conviction of the Holy Spirit burns us, but we stubbornly stay. It’s like in the fairy tales when the princess is put under a spell and can’t awaken. But, we placed the spell on ourselves by allowing the far country to ensnare us. We can sit in the service, hear the singing, the message, feel the tug of the truth, and still refuse to leave the wasteland.
We are unhappy because we are dry and parched. And the one thing we need is the one thing we will not accept. The wasteland is an awful place of torment, but pride holds us, apathy drains or will to fight it. Wake up sleeper! Get out of the wasteland before the heat overtakes you and the ground swallows you up!
We all have our muse, our great vice, the one evil we battle daily. It’s a personal struggle that pulls us to the wasteland; but we have a personal Savior who is stronger. Cling to Christ. Seek after Him, chase Him and His ways. Your body is a temple unto the Lord. Keep it holy, chaste, strong, guarded, pure, and undefiled to present unto God a living sacrifice. Get up and out of the wasteland before it’s too late.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist