Living in the city it can often be hard to find the wilderness. While walking the dog I take in beautifully manicured gardens and landscaped properties. Granted most of that beauty is hidden by the snow right now, but I know it is there lurking just under the surface. Everything is precise and if it is not precise it is at least maintained. In fact the only thing that looks remotely like the wilderness is the occasional garden that has been neglected, it has been allowed to go wild.

As a society we have done a good job of covering grass with concrete and retreating from the things we call wild. We prefer to observe the wilderness from the safety of our television sets or computer screens. The wilderness is an abstract thought, we’ve tamed it and it is out of sight and therefore out of mind.

As I walk the dog thinking about the families that live in the houses I walk past I wonder if they hear God’s call in their lives? I wonder if perhaps we have done such a good job at taming the wilderness that we do not want to hear God calling to us. In John’s gospel John the Baptist calls forward the words of Isaiah, saying “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.'”

In our largely urban societies, what does it mean to hear the voice of one crying out in the wilderness? Do we even hear that voice or are we deafened by the noise we surround ourselves with?

“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.'”

John is preparing the way for Christ, he asks that we prepare ourselves for Christ. That we make room in our lives for Christ. I wonder what parts of our lives and our interactions with society require us to make room? By making room for God in our lives, we allow God to work within us a new creation. As we read in Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

What new thing will result if we are able to make room for God?