Arriving in the desert

Daily Reading for June 25 • The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

To the biblical mind the wilderness is a holy place in which one may enter into communion with God. It is a place where one can clearly sense God’s sustenance, and, more importantly, it is a place where one learns to turn habitually toward God. We may arrive in the desert by different paths. We may journey there of our own accord, or we may be led there by the hidden work of the Holy Spirit. Once we arrive, however, the geography is the same. The clear and penetrating light of the desert requires that we remove the layers of fear and pretense we thought we needed in the land of unlikeness and recognize these as the unnecessary baggage they are. Now is the time for honesty. The desert demands that we discover who we really are and that we persevere in this knowledge. There is, in short, only one rule for the desert pilgrim: God created you in his image, seek his likeness.

From From Image to Likeness: The Christian Journey into God by William A. Simpson (Continuum, 1997).

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