Thursday, February 7, 2013

Walking the Bible (Exodus 25-27)

The other day I took a DVD called "Walking the Bible"  out of the library. Maybe you've seen it on PBS?  It's not a walk through the entire Bible, just the five Books of Moses.  It was so bizarre to see these places where the Israelites traveled and lived and met God.  The spots are so.... real.  Mount Sinai is there, manna is there (and looks nothing like what I imagined), even the bush that some scholars believe was the burning bush is there.  Just going on, existing as if they aren't some of the most miraculous things in the world.

My cousin used to work in Utah doing wilderness therapy with teens. The kids who came to her had hit rock bottom; they were juvenile delinquents whose parents forced them there as a last resort.  Counselors took them into the desert for weeks and exhausted their minds and bodies, taught them about constellations, survival, and goals.  It was a wildly (excuse the pun) successful program.  Bruce Feiler, who hosts "Walking the Bible" points out that the desert forces dependence.  "It makes a person have to reach for something higher."  Putting the Israelites in the desert could not have been more perfect. They had to connect with God; they had to depend on him. 

I've heard people claim nature is their sanctuary, where they best worship God, and I always sort of figured it was a line for getting out of church.  (Judgey, I know!). But apparently they're on to something.  It makes me want to do some prayerful hiking. Just not for forty years.  

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