In The Desert

Have you ever been in the desert?  We lived in El Paso, Texas for 2 years and I’ll never forget my first trip there.  I had never been further West than San Antonio and so I had no idea what to expect.  What I remember most is the vast emptiness.  I remember going around a bend in the road and there being some large hills.  On one side of those hills there were some trees and grass…you know…green stuff.  But when you rounded that bend it was like you crossed a line and the trees were now sage brush and the grass was sand.  The highway went on FOREVER!!!  There were no rest stops, no gas stations, no towns.  Just road….and sand.  I had never seen anything like it!  From the confines of my air-conditioned car it was amazing!  Until I had to go to the bathroom!!  There hadn’t been any warning that there were no restroom for 2 hours!  That’s right…2 hours and no restroom, no gas, no food, no drink.  NOTHING!!!  Just desert…..I felt so small…so lost….

Have you ever been in a place like that in your life where you felt deserted, alone, lost?  A place where you felt parched, dry and barren inside?  Can you picture it?  Like you’ve seen in the movies.  Someone wandering aimlessly in the desert.  Week from the sun, dehydrated, barely able to move.  They stumble and fall but are able to pick themselves up and continue on.  And then they see it…there in the distance, a small clump of mesquite trees and what is that next to them…could it be…WATER!  They start running!  All of a sudden they have this burst of energy that allows them to push on until they are at the water’s edge where they kneel down, cup there hands and take that first tentative drink.  and they drink until their thirst is quenched.  They sit in the shade of the trees and at last…they can rest.

We all go through them…you know what I mean…Those times when you feel dry inside, empty, barren….like a desert.  How did we get there?  What brought us to this place of desolation?  This place of isolation?  This place of desperation.  So many times we find ourselves wandering aimlessly, empty inside and feeling so alone that we think nothing can save us.  Our thoughts at times like these are usually scattered and sporadic.  It’s hard to focus on anything except our situation and there lies the problem….

Just like being in the desert where all you see is sand and the horizon goes on forever, our situation can seem never-ending.  But if you can get a glimpse of what’s ahead, that hope of relief, then you can press on.  Just like when water is first spotted in the desert, your energy builds and you can reach that place where you can be refreshed and rest.  But how?

First you have to realize where you are and keep pushing on.  You must keep moving forward, even if it’s only a little at a time.  Forward movement is forward movement.  Don’t give up….EVER!

The nest thing you must do is keep hope alive.  You have to believe that your rest is near.  We will all go through those times but you must realize you don’t HAVE to stay there!  There is a time of rest and rejuvenation waiting just around the bend.  You CAN make it.

So how did I survive my 2 years in El Paso?  At first it was hard…It was as if I had moved to a different planet…funny thing is, I adapted.  I learned to appreciate the culture and the people are wonderful…kind and generous.  I learned to always keep water with me and rest often.  I came to appreciate the desert and loved many things about it. There is  so much beauty when you take the time to look….

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