I think that life has a close tie to its setting. Imagery is key in telling a story or in giving inspiration to it. It's a character in and of itself in a prominent way. A visual theme and musical drive for the character's development.
Against my young will, Arizona became my own story's setting. At first, much like my current spiritual life, I couldn't stand the setting. I wanted green, rain and ease; rolling hills and cooling winds (I watched too much of "The Secret Garden"). But as I grew older and the setting wouldn't change I think God really taught me to appreciate and later fall head over heals in love with the desert. The hardest lessons I have so far learned, and some of the greatest adventures I have so far had, have been in this beautiful, rugged and exotic setting. God had drawn out truths with its imagery, much like He did for the Israelites, and I love Him for it. It can be such a picture of the human spirit and the vast sky and what it brings being one of God's own Spirit. A stretch perhaps, but it's one that my little human mind can grasp well enough to know that my God is always good and more than enough.
|Not my picture. I wish.|
I love westerns. It could be my bias from my living location but I feel the west (and especially the desert) to be such a direct allegory to life. My life at least. Either life has ironically become like the desert or the desert has painted my reality of life. I can't quite tell. But whatever it is the westerns seem to emcompass all that the human heart struggles with in a wild, free and raw environment. There is something in a heart that wants to breathe so deep that the act of taking in, instead of exhaling, will be its last breath. For this heart, the desert and the west is called home. I've heard it from numerous people I love and feel akin to. Feeling almost like out there is reality and living in the city or away from Arizona is the dream you are waiting to wake up from. And when you are out in Arizona's rocky stretches or hidden between its canyon walls you feel awake, and that a deep breath in that awakening alone could carry you to heaven. True, it isn't Home. It's imperfect, flawed and harsh. But that is why it feels like you are on the brink of eternity and your true Home. Being on honest ground that points you to a better eternity is heaven on earth. Better to see heaven from a place that pushes you towards it then a place beckoning you to stay for second best.
I understand that Arizona can't always be there, that there will come a day that I will leave it, but it is the setting of the story I post.
So here is my western. Whether my location is in Arizona or not it doesn't matter. My heart will be there, waiting for the ultimate monsoon to roll in over its rocky painted stretches, bringing in eternity on a chariot of fire. And on that day, we can fully experience being absorbed into an awesome storm and into complete safety above the clouds. God will make it new, and we'll return to the canyon and enjoy such moments of peace as this picture provides and what I have tasted. So join me here in the desert as we wait in expectancy on the brink of eternity.