What’s in Your Wilderness?

The question, “What’s in your wallet?” has been asked in nearly every home in America. It’s a question posed in Capital One’s series of credit card commercials. Capital One’s choice of spokesperson, Jennifer Garner, undoubtedly contributes to the popularity of this particular marketing campaign.

The commercial’s intent seems to be to get me to explore what’s missing in my wallet and how their credit card can fill that space. It’s good to know they care so much and are ready and willing to fill up what’s lacking.

What’s Missing and Where Will You Go to Fill that Space?

I understand why they want us to ask ourselves, “what’s missing?” in our life and then look to them to fill us up. They aren’t alone. Most, if not all, marketing programs seem to sell what’s lacking these days.

While I don’t think a credit card company can fill that void (in fact, it may cause the void to grow even larger), it’s a question worth asking.

What’s missing? What can fill that space?

The Bible asks that question as well.

Using biblical language, the Bible asks, “What in your wilderness?”.

This weekend ushers us into the first Sunday of the Lenten Season. A season in the church historically known as a forty-day wilderness journey. A season uniquely designed to ask us to explore the wilderness of our life on the way to the One who can provide what’s missing!

Forty-Day Wilderness Journeys Lead to Life

Forty-day (year) journeys are not uncommon in the Bible. Moses, Elijah, Israel, and Jesus all venture into extended wilderness journeys. Though filled with pain, toil, struggle, and despair, these journeys eventually culminate in Life.

Lent invites us to take a journey into the wilderness that is our life. A journey of exploration in which we discover what’s missing and then return to the One who is uniquely designed to fill that space.

We don’t like taking journeys like this anymore.

What We Don’t Confront Ourselves, We Will Project Onto Others

Worse yet: churches don’t provide a pathway for such journeys anymore. Churches offer programs to manage your behavior and ways to keep your problems (sins) under control., Rarely do they invite you on journeys that turn your life around.

Rich Villodas, pastor of New Life Fellowship in NYC, says it well in his book The Deeply Formed Life:

“Until the Church consistently leads people into the wilderness (i.e., prayer, solitude, silence, reflection, repentance, etc.) to confront our own demons, we will project our demons back out into the world, and fail to see that some demons in the world are reflections of ourselves.” ~Rich Villodas

So true. If we don’t confront our demons, we will project them.

I love how Mark depicts Christ’s journey into the wilderness. I love it for its brevity and urgency. In Mark 1:12-13, we read,

“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.”

What’s in your wilderness? Do you have a faith community where such a question is even asked?

If not, why not try Pillar Community Church?

During the Lenten season, we are offering a host of experiences around the theme of Invitations to Return Home! We recognize invitations like this will lead you into the wilderness of your life. That’s why we want to take the journey with you and offer you a pathway that can lead you to a life you no longer think is possible.

Worried about such a journey? Don’t be. It’s on journeys such as these where we meet the Savior who loves us and is ready to fill the space and bring us new life.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Biz