Backyard Faith - Finding Adventure in Everyday Life
Backyard Faith -Finding Adventure in Everyday Life
By Mike Ege
It seems that most of us Christian outdoor freaks are drawn by the same thing: we want to see God, and the wilderness helps us do that. We see God in the creation of Half Dome. We see the ridges and valleys of God’s thumbprint in the Grand Canyon. Sunsets remind us that He is still an artist painting daily panoramas of beauty in the western sky. Somehow we notice those things most when the familiar is stripped away, and all we have is a pack and the rock we sit on. Out there, we notice again the ever-present God who seems so distant in the rush of daily life.
Everyone who has experienced the grandeur of the wilderness has tasted of this extra special sense of seeing God clearly. The sad part is that it gets so hard to see God when we are in the wilderness of everyday life. Why don't we see Him in the sunset when we are commuting home after a chaotic day at work? Why can't we hear His voice amidst the buzz of the office or in the shouts of our playing children? Why is it so hard to experience resting on the Rock when life seems so very plain and ordinary?
The irony for us adventure addicts is that the event of a backcountry trip actually becomes the oasis, not the true adventure. It's big. It's exciting. It's fun. It's relaxing and renewing. It can bring us rich rewards through awe-inspiring experiences. But it's an escape from the real wilderness. The real wilderness is daily life, where things are too often barren and fruitless and boring and mundane.
It makes me question my real hunger for the wild when so much of me is reticent to enter into the ones in the backyard of my daily existence.
I like that I can go into the woods to get away and experience God and get back in touch with His will for my life. But why does it always seem to end there? Isn't it in the very driest of wildernesses, our day to day life, which God wants to meet us the most? Why is it so hard to let Him lead us in the real wilderness of life at home?
As I pondered these questions, it finally began to sink in:
• Wilderness adventures don't amount to much if I don't take the essence of them back home with me.
• There is beauty, meaning, and adventure all around me...even in the seeming mundane of the every day. The problem is that I'm not looking for it.
• God is always with me. I am the one who chooses to notice Him...or not.
• It's the little things of everyday life that usually have a bigger impact in the grand scheme of things. A word kindly spoken, a helping hand, advice to a lost soul.
So here is to backyard adventures where we encounter the toughest and the most rewarding of all wilderness experiences.
Mike and Laura Ege are life coaches who challenge people who are tired of shallow, ineffective faith to go beyond the brink of what they’ve always known and ignite a spiritual journey full of adventure, purpose, and freedom. For more information or to sign up for a free email series ‘7 Radical Freedoms’, go to www.OutsideEdgeCoaching.com Or email Mike at mike(at)outsideedgecoaching(dot)com. (This article first appeared Dec 2007 in The Ooze )