by Rabbi Howard Cohen
'Wilderness' has a deceptive concreteness at first glance. The difficulty is that while the word is a noun it acts like an adjective. There is no specific material object that is wilderness. The term designates a quality (as the '-ness' suggests) that produces a certain mood or feeling in a given individual and, as a consequence, may be assigned by that person to specific place. Because of this subjectivity a universally acceptable definition of wilderness is elusive. One man's wilderness may be another's roadside picnic… Wilderness, in short, is so heavily freighted with meaning of a personal, symbolic, and changing kind as to resist easy definition. Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind
Reflections / Contemplation:
What happens if you replace wilderness in the above passage from Nash with the word God?
Does this exercise impact your understanding of the word God?
Does it alter your view of wilderness?
A Commitment for Inner / Outer Action:
Today when I go outside for 18 minutes I will focus on the many different metaphors for God and wilderness that exist and pay special attention to the ones that resonate most deeply within me.