Wild Living

I’d like to redeem the word wild… Our culture has diluted it… The kind of wild the world sees is not our wild. Our wild does not mean driving with no regard for the rules of the road. It doesn’t mean TV shows that exploit college girls who are looking for love and acceptance. It doesn’t mean subverting the system, living on the edge of legal boundaries… In the context of creatures and their Creator–the vision for what is truly wild takes on a new light. It’s beautiful and freeing… A wild woman is unhindered by cultural norms, “fitting in”, or what’s taking place around her. She is in her most natural state. She isn’t wild because she is tough or pushy or has an ultra-strong will. She is wild because she is inextricable rooted in the strongest One.

Jess Connolly – Wild & Free

More than anything else, the title by Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan lured me in. “Wild and Free” made me pause because I want to be that. With over fifteen endorsements on the first few pages from names like Lysa TerKeurst, Annie F. Downs, and Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, each of whom I adore, I clicked on the audio version in Hoopla and had my entertainment for the next two weeks on the empty thirty-minute leg of dropping off and picking up my daughter from school. Within the first few minutes, even the forward did not disappoint.

In the end, what I discovered is this:

God made us wild but we have allowed ourselves to become tamed. It’s time to re-discover our wildness.

Here are some ways that Webster describes wild, meshing nicely with Connolly’s above description: living in a state of nature; growing without human aid; not subject to restraint or regulation; passionately eager or enthusiastic; going beyond conventional bounds. And here’s its counterpart, tame; reduced from a state of native wildness especially so as to be tractable and useful to humans; to deprive of spirit; lacking in zest, interest, or the capacity to exite. Therein lies the rub.

“I am anxious to feed you, how much do you want what I have for you?

GOD (PSALM 81:10)

Throughout the Bible, God begs His children to live wildly dependant on Him. Diana Butler Bass reminds us what Christianity was like in the first five centuries–a deliberate choice with serious consequences, but also a way of life that transformed people past the doctrinal system, giving all who choose to follow, the meaningful ability to reorder their lives (ie; rediscover their wildness). The reason Christianity did not attract me right away was because I was way too concerned about what I would have to “give up”. I didn’t realize that in doing so, I was allowing God to feed me with nourishment that was better than anything I was holding on to.

Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent”

John 6:29

This is Jesus’ call to wild living. Our “lot” is all of our lives. It is a call back to our hearts–to following our passions rather than holding them back by letting the world tell us who we should be.

For me, this looks like listening to and discovering what brings me life and nurturing that. It looks like not going after jobs that may place me in the limelight because they tempt me to force my agenda, become prideful, and starve my relationship with my family. I am most comfortable, and nearest my True Self when I have no position to boast. When I am living wild and free, I look for opportunities to show others their wildness–spending enough time with people to see where they may have been tamed and revealing to them their natural state, the one that is excitable and alive. It looks like a life that lives from the heart–not just with those who match my outer appearance, or what is in my wallet, or what is on my table at mealtimes, but risks going after the heart of another regardless of the invisible line that separates us.

I have far to go to become completely untamed. Wild doesn’t worry. It doesn’t compare her life with others, buy what she doesn’t need, or hoard what she does have. Wild prays continually, as if that is her breath, listens to her body’s cues, and lives a life of thanksgiving. She practices presence, foregoes her own comfort for the sake of another, and is free of self-focus. Wild women clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12) because they have no need to adorn themselves with anything else.

When we are living wildly, the way we were created in the Garden, it’s in the relationship with our Creator that we are given the springboard to go after that which others may deem impossible or unacceptable and live without restraint because we know He is for us, He loves us, and He has a purpose for us.

It’s a holy thing, to be wild and free
Like a raging storm on the calming sea
Lord, heal my heart till my heart believes
It’s a holy thing to be wild and free
Yes it is

It’s a sacred space to be lost in wonder
To safely rest in the midst of you
Lord, fill my heart ’till it’s full on hunger
It’s a holy thing to be wild and free

Come on everybody, come on everyone
Let’s run like a river and follow the Son
With hearts that are open just as wide as the sea
It’s a holy thing to be wild and free
Yes it is

Jason Upton – Wild & Free

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