Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wild children of a wild God

In one of my previous posts, I said that I had asked Father what it means to be wild in my everyday life. As I thought about this, I realized that I had a picture in my mind of what I thought wild meant. The picture I had was of something that is frenzied, chaotic and out of control.

As I thought about Duma's journey back to the wild, I realized my picture didn't fit what I was seeing take place in his life. Dictionary.com defines wild as "living in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated." That is what I believe we'll experience as we learn how to live in the wild. It'll be a return to living in our natural state as followers of Christ . . . the way God intended for us to live.

One of the first signs that Duma was returning to his wild state was that he began eating wild food. He wanted meat from an animal that had just been killed. When Xan tried to stop him, Duma snarled at him and Xan drew back. Duma was not going to allow anyone, not even someone he loved, to stop him. Tame food would never satisfy him again. No longer would he be satisfied eating Purina Cat Chow and table food. Only wild food will satisfy a wild cheetah.

When we start our journey back to the wild, we realize that the tame food of religious sermons no longer satisfies. We want the fresh meat of the word that comes directly to us from the Holy Spirit. We want the fresh meat that the Spirit speaks directly into our hearts.

I enjoy watching nature programs on television and I've noticed that wild animals like cheetahs and lions do not live lives of frenzied activity. Instead, their lives are characterized by intentional behavior that is instinctive. Most of their days seem to be spent lying down and enjoying the warmth of the sun. They also spend time grooming their fur. If they're proud parents, part of their day is spent caring for their young. Wildness, as we think of it, is seen only as they pursue their prey, kill it and then eat it. Yet, even this behavior is natural for a cheetah.

To live in the wild means to live in what is our natural state and to do those things that are natural for us. It doesn't mean frenzied, chaotic activity. For Duma, it meant that he would no longer live like a house cat but he would now do the things that are natural for cheetahs to do.

The same is true for us. As we journey back to the wild, we'll give up the artificial world of religion. We'll no longer live lives of programmed behavior being controlled by man's agenda. Instead, we'll be free to follow Jesus wherever he might lead each day. We'll be free to be who we are and to do those things which Father has created us to do.

Others may not understand and it may appear to them as though we're rebellious or heretical. However, this freedom is only an indication that we're living lives that are natural to followers of Christ. Religion may try to put us back in a cage but once we've tasted life in the wild, we'll never be able to go back to the constraints of religion again.

3 comments:

Joel Brueseke said...

"living in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated"

I think that definition is right on target with who we are all wanting to be in Christ. Well, it's who we are in Christ, and we're all wanting to break free and live in the wildness of who we are... according to our true nature, not tamed or domesticated.

When my wife and I saw the counselor a few years ago who spoke the words that lifted a huge weight and began to truly set me free (and who also recommended the Wild At Heart book), the gist of his 'message' to me was to be who God had wired me to be.

In my quest to be a 'good Christian husband' - a 'tame' man who sincerely wanted to be the husband that his wife needed - I was listening to all the principles of being a good, godly husband that the church was constantly throwing my way, and in doing so I was unknowingly being tamed. I thought it was 'good.' I mean, I thought all these principles were good things, and it's not as if any of them were what could be called "bad," but yet in trying to do all these things I was truly missing out on being who "I" really am!

One of the main things is that in the name of humility and submission, I was trying to not rock the boat with my wife so as not to upset her or make her feel uncomfortable, and especially not insecure. But even though all that sounds nice and fine and dandy, I was actually ripping her off, and not only that but I was ripping myself off too... because I wasn't being the REAL man that God had created and was joined with.

I was being tame and unnatural, when what she and I both needed is for me (and her) to be wild and natural, not tame and domesticated. It's an ongoing process, of learning who I really am, but it's so very true that the more I understand who I really am, the more I understand that I can never, ever go back into the cage!

Joel Brueseke said...

When I wrote that last comment I meant to tie my experience in with what goes on in the church overall, not just in my marriage (and in other marriages that I've heard of through our blogs). Of course you've already done this very well in the post, Aida. :) I just wanted to echo it and to say that programmed Christian behavior, while having a nice spiritual sound to it, is actually what 'kills' the church. It keeps it from being what it really is.

Aida said...

"the gist of his 'message' to me was to be who God had wired me to be."

I think that says it all. Father has created us with certain characteristic and personality traits and we'll never be content until we begin to be who we really are.

I appreciate your comments about how your journey back to the wild affected your marriage. We tend to focus a lot on our freedom from religion but that's only a portion of our lives. Our lives also consist of our family relationships and our work relationships as well as our social relationships. If these relationships are not affected by our freedom then we're still not living the lives Father intended for us to live.

Apparently, when you read my blog, the freedom you've experienced in your marriage came to mind so that's what you were supposed to focus on and I'm glad you did.

Aida