Why should you prioritize your wilderness trip, you say? At least once a year, you and your fellow believers in your small group should be making plans to attend a wilderness retreat. You might be thinking this little escape from reality (read technology) is only another exercise of meeting with a few fellow Christians. That is a total misconception! We are here to help you understand why it is so important for you to seek out nature to seek God.
1. Today we live in an ‘over-connected’ world, there is a pressing need and primal desire to escape to the wilderness. To escape to places where God’s creation is clearly evident and unscathed. A place where He can get our attention. We often wake up and immediately grab our phones to check the latest emails, messages, and social feeds. Those first few moments set the tone of your day, why not start them off right? To help us re-set our habits, nature doesn’t allow for a digital connection; God wants you to be truly present, in the moment.
2. God’s creation, the wilderness, offers unprecedented beauty and perspective. Once we take the steps required to be truly present, we will find a new perspective on the beauty, grace, and love the surround us. When trying to capture a moment with photos, it always leaves you with a second hand perspective. If you are taking a picture, you are constantly looking into your camera (or phone these days) for that perfect shot. While we are doing this, we lose the ability to look up and out at what’s around us. This 3-D life is real and no matter how many pixels that camera lens offers, it cannot compare to the unmatched beauty standing before us. Then why not stare back at it?
3. Combating busyness is the key to transformation. Exchanging your normal routine with more programs is not going to spark transformation. We focus on developing Jesus’ rhythm of retreating. Retreating to a quite place. Retreating to the wilderness. Jesus lived an active life of compassion. Many surmise the only way he was about to have such a effective ministry was due to Him being the Son of God. When we see His nonstop pursuit of serving and doing so with such a loving & patient heart, we forget that Jesus was created to be like us; He was fully man and fully God. Jesus was about to accomplish so much with a joyousness attitude by growing in grace and obedience through what he suffered as man. His time spent with God was the most important thing to Him, not serving others. Because Jesus took abiding trips or retreats to be alone or in small groups with God, He was able to nourish His relationship with the Father and therefore was blessed with a flourishing ministry.
4. Experiential learning outdoors allows for natural decision-making scenarios that teach us how to avoid trivial distractions that can consume us. Wilderness journeys draw out the best in people by confronting their fears and exposing the traps of entitlement. The wilderness helps sever the entanglements that suffocate God’s vision for our lives.
5. When the stakes were high, the wilderness was one of God’s favorite instruments to make sure that permanent community transformation took place.
6. Jesus chose a group of people to turn the world upside down, He used the wilderness as his primary classroom, and He employed adventure to produce radical commitment toward His mission.
7. If Jesus chose the wilderness as a favorite setting to shape His disciples into dynamic leaders, then is it not equally critical in our increasingly urban world for people to encounter Him through a wilderness adventure?