Follow the Wild Stag


There is a special magic about spotting a truly wild animal. I can gaze endlessly just at images of buffalo, wild horses, moose, grizzlies, elk or deer. Wherever we traveled by car with our kids, we made it a habit to keep an eye out for deer or moose grazing roadside.
For years we lived one-half mile from the center of a busy University town, so I thought Zack was trying to avoid doing his math one day when he announced that there was a buck in our backyard. When I joined him at the porch door, however, I was staring at a horse size stag with a magnificent rack, justifiably surrounded by an entourage of four doe. It was as if a piece of the primeval forest had broken through an imaginary boundary in time and space and graced us with a special visitation.
The moment of that encounter seems frozen in time as we stared at him and he, at us. It has made an indelible mark in my mind’s eye. In a flash, the elusive creature clattered down our driveway, across a busy main road and off to grace our neighbor’s yards.
What is it about a moment with a wild creature that awakens an aching yearning in my soul? I long to follow the animal to the hills, to the forest, to the wide open plains and experience the world it inhabits. It renews a desire within me to live a life that is deep, true and magically connected to my Creator.
I think that is what people felt when they met Jesus. Jesus was never what people expected. I think he was wild, elusive, and magical to encounter. I think meeting Jesus stirred up a yearning in people’s hearts to live a life that was deep and true and intrinsically connected to God. He spent hours every day in the deep forest of the Father’s heart as He communed with Him in prayer. This awoke in others a desire to follow Him – to dwell, too, in the heart of God.
I have met Christians who live most of their lives in the deep heart of God. I make it a habit to keep an eye out for them. They remind me who I was before the Fall. They remind me who I will be when I reach Eternity. They awaken in me a sleeping wild thing that belongs traversing the high places with the great Creator God. When people spend time with you, is it like encountering the noble stag?
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42: 1-2

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1 Comment

    The Conversation

  1. Jenn Convey says:

    I love seeing wildlife in my yard, although I have no desire to follow it off into the woods. But I get the idea of being drawn in – I’ve often wondered what people felt when they met Jesus and maybe that’s it. If their eyes were open to see, of course! Now, if I could just keep my own open…