The same God you encountered in the mountains this week is the same God who is going home with you.
That’s what we told high school students after returning from their 6-day backpacking trip.
I said that exact sentence. And I believed it.
But when it comes to my own heart, my own life, my own circumstances, I compartmentalize God. I have a Colorado box, for how I expect to interact with him there. A Texas box, for how I expect we would interact at home. And a “I’m in a different country box”, which is pretty self-explanatory.
I’m really good at speaking truth to people and believing with all my heart that it’s true for them. That it 100% applies to their life no. matter. what. But what good does that do if I’m not believing it for myself? If I’m not living what I’m saying?
The first time I stepped foot on Wilderness Ranch property, it earned a special place in my heart. I experienced a side of my God that I had never seen before, a side that’s sometimes hard to access in the normal grind of daily life. It was beautiful and I was hooked.
I came home and circumstances were different. Work was hard, relationships were hard, life events happened that broke my heart. I longed to go back to the place where I had seen my God so clearly. And in my longing, I think I’ve missed that same God right next to me.
This year, Colorado was different.
There were different people and new places.
But one thing was the same: my God.
Not the same as in cookie-cutter responses or plans. My God is unbelievably personal. But same as in His character, His power, His ability, His love.
Leaving Colorado this time, my heart was as full… possibly more full… than it’s ever been leaving the mountains. And I believe with all my heart that it’s because for a little while, I chose to let go of my boxes. I chose to let God be who He is regardless of our circumstances. I chose to believe that the same God I encounter at Wilderness, is really.. really the same exact God with the same exact power and the same exact character no. matter. what.
I create boxes because it gives me comfort in the unknown. It’s my attempt to control. To know what’s coming. And all I’ve gotten in return is discouragement and frustration. As much as I try to control, I don’t know what I don’t know. And you can bet that I don’t know what next week is going to look like, much less next year.
God does not fit in my timeline. He does not fit in my mind. He does not fit in my box.
So I’m opening the lid to my box, and as I do my heart begins to soften and open along with it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? – Psalm 139:7