Wild at Park
"There is something else I am after out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey...something that can only be fund through the help of wilderness.
I am looking for my heart."
John Eldredge writes that on page three of his enormous bestseller "Wild at Heart." Though I love the book and have re-read it multiple times, I never fully understood that search. In the margins of my copy I wrote "I am not drawn to wilderness." Until today.
I caught a glimpse of it in a Sacramento County public park. Crosswoods Park. Not much of a park actually but just enough wilderness in the midst of the metro area. Tucked behind a public library is a little grassy area leading back into an undeveloped clump of forest. (Of course there was a sign saying a development plan was in progress but that complaint will have to wait for another blog post.) The park had birds flying and wild bunnies hopping. My son had some serious fun chasing wild bunnies until they escaped down their rabbit holes. I saw actual rabbit holes, not the fake ones of Alice's Wonderland and amusement parks.
Mind you, we were still clearly in the city. We could see and hear the cars whirring by on their way to Costco as we chased the rabbits. Yet I could also hear the birds chirping. And I could hear the peacefulness (or not hear it). It felt like something I could hear. It was that tangible. My body became lighter. My mind was more engaged. My soul felt more alive. In that moment, in that location, this park seemed like a place where I could indeed find my heart. I thought "this is a place where I could write." "This is a place where I could connect with God."
Eldredge reminds us that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. Why?
Deep in a man's heart are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at the kitchen table. Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for? It is fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control. But the answers to his deepest questions are not to be found on television or in the refrigerator." (page 5)
Maybe, for us city boys, they are to be found at the park.