Why go to the wilderness? You can imagine that responses vary. And I’ve gathered a few over the years from folks with whom I’ve shared the trail.
Responses vary from "Adventure!" to “Peace and quiet.” to “I have no idea.” They vary from articulated manifestos of purpose to guttural, emotional, wordless groans and prayers. They want to get close to the divine. They want to retreat from the technocratic haze of their typical days. They want fellowship. They want solitude. They want rest. They want a challenge. They want to be stronger. They want to surrender.
People are often looking for something like illumination or guidance or truth.
What they often find is a new posture toward truth. A posture of curiosity rather than conquest. They become one who tracks the truth of their experience for the thrill of proximity to it, rather than one who hunts truth to attain it with taxidermic intent.
Those who find a spring of curiosity in the desert, a current of generosity on the river, a constellation of mystery in the night sky: They are the ones who have found what they need to bring back and better the world.