They all have a common theme…one or two people get dropped off in some hostile environment with little or nothing more than the clothes on their backs and they have to “survive” until rescued.
Like most “reality” shows, they are utterly unrealistic.
They compress a few days in the wilderness into 40 minutes and make the use of survival skills seem easy.
The truth is, it is anything but easy.
I felt the need to demonstrate this to my boy…he was buying into the lie that we all had the innate skills to make fires from sticks without matches, and we all could build shelters in a matter of minutes, and that food just falls into traps we cleverly devise from boot laces.
Yesterday, I told him he could make a fire from friction using sticks and a knife.
This was like telling him that henceforth he would have a birthday every month complete with party and gifts.
A couple hours later, the pile of broken sticks and a dull knife had him completely frustrated.
He knew he had been lied to…it wasn’t easy and he really wasn’t ready to become a self reliant woodsman.
We didn’t even get to the part where you have to gut something…
I share this little vignette because I think we do the same thing and tell the same sort of lies in the church.
The Bible is full of stories of men encountering God, of miracles of healing and provision, of floating axehead,s and angels helping humans.
The Bible is also spread over thousands of years and if you placed those events on a timeline they would be few and far between each other.
There were 400 years were God was silent.
We still look to those stories as normative and we act as if you master a few spiritual techniques you’ll be self reliant and secure in the wilderness we walk through.
The truth in our real “reality” show is that just like the survivalists on TV, we are really just waiting to be rescued.
We are not self reliant, but reliant on each other and the Holy Spirit to find our way through to home again.
There is no shame in that…the folly is in believing otherwise.
The world is full of dangers, toil, and snares, wild beasts and people who act like one.
You need a “base camp” and people in it who understand where they are and where they’re going, and are willing to share to get everyone home.
“Surviving” the Christian life takes time and practice…it takes a lifetime and practice never makes perfect this side of glory.
Next time, I’ll help Trey build his fire.
Make your own application…