Below is something I wrote a few weeks back, when Faith in the Field was being brought to life through the website, video and the support of several folks. I wrote it for myself and shared it with a good friend and my wife at a time when I needed to write and read these words as much as anyone. I now find it important to reflect on them again and share them with you...
It's one thing to know stuff, to be smart, to understand, to have an epiphany or overwhelming feeling of happiness and/or faith come over you...but the most important part, and perhaps the most useful question is then, what do you do with that? Say it, share it...good...but even better is to LIVE IT!!! I don't mean, be a good person, follow the Ten Commandments, etc...I mean to live from your heart, which starts with seeking to know the heart God's given you, the heart Christ made new when you chose to believe in Him as your savior...and living a heroic, ferocious life as a man of God! Read that again...let it excite you! I didn't say live a life of duty and obligation, going to church and being a "nice guy"...I said live a life filled with passion, heroicness, ferocity, fighting the battle, standing up for Christ and taking the risk...that risk will be rewarded so long as it rooted in a faith in Christ!
"Indeed, the many forces driving modern life have not only assaulted the life of our heart, they have also dismantled the heart's habitat-that geography of mystery and transcendence we knew so well as children."
Like the line above says, the many forces driving modern day life are assaulting us, often times without us recognizing it...dare I say, MOST times without us recognizing it...the busyness, work, emails, internet, TV, money, sports, drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, food, kids, shopping, time away from God, time away from God, time away from God.........and behind the scenes, Satan is pulling the strings keeping us busy so we won't be aware that he's taking us out...destroying our heart and ultimately, life as it was meant to be from the beginning, and definitely the life Christ intended us to have when he came into our life and made our hearts new. It's not to say work or the internet are bad, but if there is reliance on it, stress relief from it, frustration taken out on it, validation received from it, etc, etc, etc, instead of asking God to provide those outlets through one means or another, there is a loss of heart, and as a result, a loss of life.
Satan's attacks are so subtle and hidden, and we often only view them as daily attacks, on us, or specific people...or tangible, more obvious things that we know effect us day to day...but what's been overwhelmingly brought to my attention and into view is the constant, incredibly persistent yet gradual way in which Satan has taken life on this earth and manipulated it to his advantage...and we are SO oblivious to it! Look at the world years ago...look at this country years ago...turn on the TV or radio, watch the news, read the paper...is the world not far worse on a purely moral level than it's ever been? Is it not getting worse every day? And yet we don't take it for real that we are under attack by the one who hates God and all that is good? Not pleasurable...good. "The story of our life is the long and brutal assault on our heart by the one who knows what we could become, and fears it."
Take for example this simple reality that hits home for many of us as outdoorsmen, in particularly, hunters. Romans 1:19 talks of God's invisible qualities and divine nature being clearly seen in all of creation, and that it reveals the heart of God to us. Experiencing the awe of creation, sensing moments like those captured in the photos above and below, is revealing. For hundreds of years one of the most prevalent ways for men and boys, and many women too, to see God's creation in its abundant generosity was to go hunting. Now look at the ways in which Satan is trying to take that away...save the animals, gun bans, movements affecting predator control, and many, many, many more issues arising daily. It's not to say those who are against hunting are Satan's minions, not at all, but we're all naive, to an extent, to the fact that Satan is at work in every way...and those who would suggest Satan's not a part of something that's attempting to diminish time spent in our God's amazing creation, that which speaks volumes about the God who loves us, have been deceived. God can be seen anywhere and everywhere, yes, and outdoor activities aren't required to find God, but for all who do enjoy time in the field, they will find God there whether they recognize it or not. And for many, were it not for time spent in the serenity of the wild, they may not have found God and salvation that comes from His son's death on the cross. It's scary to watch the simple ways in which we've been led out of "raw" creation and into a busy life of metal and cement with so many distractions that take us away from communion with our Father...but also easy to see it as Satan's plan when viewed through the right lens. It's why in 2010 people want food from the farm, free range beef, more wildlife habitat, to plant their own garden, more biking friendly streets, hiking trails, all-natural and organic products, cloth diapers, and so so so much more...we may not realize or admit it, but we innately crave life as it was meant to be, life as it was in the past, years ago...ten years or hundreds of years ago..."an Eden we've never known but somehow know our hearts were created for." We all have the desire for God's creation in one form or another and we need to learn to recognize it and call it what it is...after all, He did MAKE US...and He wouldn't have done so without placing the desire to love Him within each and every one of us. You can find God in every person, business office and Nordstrom store, but escaping the distractions of life, to a quieter place, where there's room for your thoughts, your breath, your soul...that's where God is revealed more fully than any other.