Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Frontiersman

I see him walking the frothy waves. In the swell he stands. I want to follow – he calls me there. It is frightening. He abides on the fringes, forever pressing into some undeveloped wilderness somewhere.
He is a frontiersman – not following a path so much as making one. He is a trailblazer, comfortable with few guarantees and the uncertain. If you follow, you also must abide some unresolved tensions, dichotomies, paradox, the unsure.
He travels light, can turn on a dime, pull-up camp in a wink. I follow, but he tries me. Is he trying to discourage me? But I can’t turn back. Having lived with him in the uncontrolled environment and having experienced undomesticated open places, how do I go back?
There is something in a spartan lifestyle, living off the land with few guarantees. I am leaner now, more alert, quicker, closer to creation. I feel a deeper connection with life and the created world. What did God mean when he created the vastness?
Part of me remembers the comforts of domesticated life, the convenience of the predictable. I miss the well worn and the familiar, but would I trade the new liveness for the old deadness? It was so easy – boring, but easy.
He calls me to press yet farther into the frontier, to breach uncharted, undiscovered, unreported places. I am so alive now, but atrophy and the former soft life draw with promise of safety and certainty.
He is a frontiersman. And to follow him, at least to follow closely and immediately, I must be a frontiersman as well. To be so, by necessity requires the relinquishing of certain comforts and luxuries. The reward is to see what few will ever see, to experience unprocessed possibilities, to be awed by unprepared, un-distilled beauty – to have eyes that vision what might be. But someone has to blaze a trail and someone has to follow the trailblazer.
He is calling me again.

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