Second Advent comes. We wait. We ponder the wilderness.
Are we driven to this wilderness, chased by the attackers of fear, wrong decision, and unknown future? Or are we called to it, with trepidation and a slight hint of adventure?
What does this wilderness look like? Is it the tangle of forests and brush that, after wandering for hours, all look the same? Is it the wide-open expanse of a desert with only the horizon in sight and no other guide than the direction of the cold stars? Or is it the prairie with mountains in distant view and we know we just have to keep going and we'll get there… eventually?
How do we survive in the wilderness? Is it all of our summer camp training on edible vegetables? Is it manna from heaven? Do we wrestle against the "wild" creatures in the night? Do we somehow trust that God will protect us when we don't fight back?
What do we do in the wilderness? Do we sit on a rock and pray until it's time to sleep, hoping it'll all be over before we get too hungry? Do we search for food, set up shelter, and settle in for the long haul?
What does it look like for valleys to be raised up and mountains made low? Does it make the going easier? Are the roads more direct? As in ancient Rome, do the empire's troops march past us to battle on this interstate? What happens to the forests on the mountains that are cut down? To the streams in the valleys that have been raised up?
Above all, how do we prepare the way for the Lord in this place that is so God-forsaken? Or God-foreseen?