Those of us who live next to wild areas are living as everyone did when the world’s major religions were established. Wilderness was right outside the door for most people in those days. Jesus, for instance, needed and loved the wilderness.
He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray, according to the physician Luke. Matthew also tells us: After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. Other accounts tell us: Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God. He took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray.
Jesus was lucky, he had wilderness right outside his door. By the time of Jesus, people had already spread over the entire Earth, but wilderness was still accessible to nearly everyone.
And Jesus needed it. Often the crowds of people became too much and he sought the wild places. Or he just needed to climb a mountain and pray.
Some of us are lucky like Jesus, but most of us aren’t. I can go a few feet outside my door and be in wilderness. Bear and coyotes, skunks and armadillos, deer and raccoons are regular visitors to our land. There are no close mountains to climb for prayer, but plenty of wild places nearby.
There was no need to preserve wilderness in Jesus’ time. There weren’t enough people to overwhelm the wild places.
Today, with the Earth’s population doubling every 40 years, wilderness is being destroyed, or is already gone, in many countries. Thanks to our ancestors, our country has preserved at least some wilderness. Appreciate it. Get out in it. Go see it. If you get the chance, live next to it.
Be like Jesus. Go into the wilderness and pray.