Friday, February 27, 2009

WAH Chapter 1 - An Adventure and On Wilderness

Questions from Wild at Heart Field Manual Chapter One.

I'm convinced that adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man. Does that surprise you, hearing that adventure is a spiritual longing given to us by God?

It surprises me to hear someone say it but deep down inside I know its true. When I look at the wildness of creation I am convinced that it is part of the human experience. I think that just as man longs for Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, he also longs for adventure. It's the way we were made. I don't believe God set Adam in the garden expecting him to sit on his hands. He created all this to be lived in, to be explored - fill the earth and subdue it - he created it to be an adventure.

What were some of the "great adventures" you had - or dreamed of or read about - as a boy?

Man, where to begin! I remember that almost anything could be an adventure. I see this in my own boys too. As a boy the world appeared enormous. Our house was huge, in my eyes. Our 100' x 40' backyard was a jungle. The perspective, as a boy, made everything an adventure. So, whether I left the house or stayed in the backyard, it didn't matter. It was all adventure.

As I got older and was allowed to cross the street and all that the adventures grew. I mentioned the valley behind my friends house where we used to play war, go sled riding and such. My grandfathers barns were always huge adventures. We climb high into the hay-loft, near the top of the barn it seemed, and build forts out of the hay bales. The creek was like a river. We'd gather large sandstones and build a dam so that later in the day we could swim in the collected water. Everything was an adventure back then.

Describe an adventure you've had in more recent years, a time when you really came alive. What happened? What did it require of you?

It's been some time since this adventure but I'll never forget it. A friend and I decided we wanted to float, on inner-tubes (large tractor tubes), a length of the river that runs through our county. It took us two days to float it all. It was quite a challenge in certain parts of the first section because the water was so still. We had no way to really paddle the six or mile stretch.

On the second day, the real adventure began. Between our starting point and ending spot there was a section of nasty falls that was notorious for flipping canoes. It was dangerous because as the water fell over the rocks it created a dangerous undertow which could spin you underwater indefinitely. We decided to go for it anyway. With cut-off jeans, tennis shoes and a single strap on the tube we went headlong over the falls. We both made it through in one piece. In fact, we decided to pull out the tubes and walk back up to the other side of the falls and do it again.

After that, we dreamed of floating all the way to the Ohio River, then the Mississippi, but it never happened. I wish we would have at least floated to the Ohio. It would have been a great adventure.

Have you ever spent time in the outdoors? Did you enjoy it?

The only reason I got my driver's license was so that I could go squirrel hunting. I didn't care about girls or sports. I wanted to be out on my grandpa's land hunting or at least walking and exploring. I love the outdoors and would love to really get back to hunting and fishing. When I was in my early twenties I spent most of my summers in the Hocking River fishing.

Where do you most come alive?

To be honest, I don't know anymore. One of the things I most look forward to is the opening day of deer-gun season here in Ohio. I haven't actually shot a deer for many years now but I do love getting up early on opening day, sneaking out into the woods and sitting in the quiet. I love sitting there feeling the raw weather and using all of my senses, to the best of my ability, to be ready for my prey. I also love to be outside building things like the chicken coop, patio, etc. I like the hard work, the planning, the execution. I do like being outdoors.

Has the Spirit ever led you into the wilderness - a calling, or a haunting to just "get away from it all," get out into the wild? If he did so now, would you go?

I am hearing that call now and I am planning on going on a Wilderness Outreach Retreat this summer. It's not just a desire of mine to go but it feels more like it is my destiny to go. It's like God is calling me to meet Him there, He has something to say to me and He can only say it there. My greatest fear at this time is that something will happen to keep me from going because I know the enemy come to "kill, steal, and destroy."

Have you ever seen, in your desires or even in your fantasies, something "wild" (risky, adventurous, undomesticated) in your own heart?

Oh yeah! I have this one desire to go out in the middle of the woods with only a gallon of water and a Bible and spend 24 hours in one location alone. I plan on doing this someday soon. I always wanted to get a powered parachute and fly around.

Have you understood that wildness to be a good thing? Would like there to be a wildness about you?

I do believe that that wildness is a good thing. I wish I would let it come out a little more.

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