Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Window Into My Soul

I have an Internet persona and keep my personal life very private. But for the sake of explaining the appeal of Wild At Heart to me personally, let me tell you about myself.

Even though I now live in the fertile prairies of the Heartland, I was not born here. I was born in one of the Plains states. It is rugged and wild country that I love. And most people not from that country have a hard time appreciating the beautiful, untamed, desolation of that area. John Eldredge is also from the wild country in Colorado. So when he described chasing a deer over that country, it set my heart on fire and made me remember my roots. They are roots that my friends from the Heartland, or the South, or the East Coast don't understand. My ancestors cut out an existence in those unforgiving plains. They went through the Dust Bowl for Pete's sake. They were strong and stoic and sometimes I get impatient with the spoiled heartland dwellers who have only known green and tamed terrain.

In my next post I'm going to link a Rich Mullin's song about the beauty of the plains. One of the lines goes like this, "How the Lord takes by its corners this old world and shakes us forward and shakes us free to run wild with the hope that this thirst will not last long that it will soon drown in a song not sung in vain." The state I was born in is listed in this song.

Rich was an anomaly. A Quaker boy born in the green, moist and tame Heartland wouldn't normally have an attraction to the desolate plains. But Rich did. He appreciated it and he wrote a song about it and about praising God that makes my heart sing. Funny. Other people are not nearly as stirred by that song as I still am.

Further back in my past, my family is from Denmark. Another rugged and desolate place of warriors and Vikings. Their men weren't just fierce, so were their women. They had to be to survive. I read a book that was made into a movie call "The Thirteenth Warrior" and was amazed at the feeling of affinity I had with some of the Viking thought processes. In the next post, along with the Rich Mullins link, I'll link an ancient sounding song with images from the old country which also touches a terrible deep place in me.

Why am I telling you this? I'm explaining the structures in my life, set up by my culture and my heritage that are not dissimilar to the structures in John Eldredge's life. But where he tries to make these structures into Biblical foundations, I know better. They are extra-biblical. This doesn't make them bad. I'm proud of my heritage. But these foundations are not Biblical. And they are not sturdy foundations to build a house of wild, spiritual, freedom on. The word of God is quick and active and sharper than any two edged sword and is able to cut between the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12).

Hopefully, after the post with the song links, I can present Bible verses that promise us freedom. These verses ARE a firm foundation and are not someone else's culture and perspective. They are a spiritual foundation and aren't given to us to cancel out other people's cultural influences.

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