We're thousands of miles away from the Nevada desert now, in the middle of a 24-hour sprint up the busy, busy Eastern Seaboard, but my mind often returns to the spaces of Nevada and the California Sierras.
In a world full of products and places and experiences that promise satisfaction, the desert promises nothing. Indeed, in me it most often succeeds in simply provoking more thirst.
I'm reminded of a dear friend's last words about his mother who succumbed to a cancer she lived with and fought for nearly two decades. She was a woman who served and ministered to so many in her life. And to her son, my friend, she was a woman wholly "fueled by hope, hope, hope."
She wasn't fueled by a string of satisfying experiences, but fueled by a hope and a thirst for something more Holy, Real, Beautiful being made manifest in and through her.
It's refreshing to be in a physical space that reflects interior reality: unfulfilled by the many promises-of-satisfaction. From new fast-food taco amalgamations to big-production church services to any amount and type of self-medication, they're all temporary fill-ups. The desert reminds me that man's best attempts at being filled aren't that effective.
Man's great teachers all seem to agree that complete satisfaction is unlikely. The angels and great examples in my life concur.
It's like a blues solo with a resolution we may never hear. But we keep following the chord changes. What's the next measure, and the next, and the next? It seems absurd to give up the solo just because we don't know when we'll finally arrive back at the head.
I'm working on being fueled rather than filled, and I'm thankful for the desert for making me more thirsty.