The Rock in the Wilderness Calls

Rock in the wilderness short story about spiritual journey

An interesting very short story came to me…

The rock in the wilderness calls…

I’m wandering, aimlessly, in a barren, dusty desert, probably have been for a long while. Everything feels drearily the same, lifeless. The only thing that breaks the flat horizon is this large rock in the wilderness.

I realize I’ve been in this place a very long time, just wandering. I remember the rock as having always been there -It looks both in and out of its element at the same time, sometimes a glaring incongruity, then. invisible in the wasteland. As time has gone on the siren-like fascination and antipathy that rock back and forth within me toward the hulking mass swing more wildly,, and now, I walk over to it.

Rock in the wilderness short story about spiritual journey

An irresistible urge to move it, dislodge it, sweeps me, rising and cresting, then crashing and retreating, like waves trying to advance the shore. I honestly have no idea what value there could be in moving a rock around in a desert, and I can continue to trek, but I’m fully aware of the pointlessness in the excursion. I continue to feel the compulsion, approach the rock. Here, I’m standing next to it, feeling ridiculous contemplating dislocating it with my puny strength. Still, I at last resolve to lean in and push.

I feel a very real presence next to me, giving me an assist. I’m exerting strenuously, so I don’t turn to look, but I can sense his presence, I can even sense the robe he’s wearing.

The rock gives way and rolls forward, not without effort, but far more easily than I expected even with the assist. I turn to look for my teammate, but that presence is now gone in the same seamless flow.

Turning back to the reveal, underneath the rock lies a hatch door. Of course I’m curious, but also trepidatious – I confess to an aversion to creepy crawlies and rotting yuck and other nightmare imaginings. I’m afraid.

I am hesitating and losing ground in my attraction/aversion dance with the hatch. Surprisingly and suddenly, I find myself pushing through the dread and opening it. On the other side of the portal is light! I feel its welcoming gaiety, joyfulness, ease, its beckoning peace. And yet, I remain standing, there, alone in the wilderness. Fittingly, the rock rocks back, firmly covering the escape hatch. End scene, fade to black.

When this story first came to me, I’ll admit to almost disappointment – rock in the wilderness, portal to a light-filled world, yawn, cliche. As I wrote and unpacked it, my arrogance is humbled and I tremble at the depth and strength of support and guidance that is there for me – it is a personalized metaphor for my journey.

  • The wilderness, the desert – the joylessness of the seeking/wanting existence. Yes, some transient pleasurable experiences and the occasional stirrings of joy , but no heart song to to be lifted by, a landscape of void without delight.
  • The rock, the egoic mind. There it is, familiar yet out of place, settled in the impoverished terrain of the ego projections. There’s that innate draw to explore it, and what’s beneath it, which has been the single drive in my decades of rides around the sun, the “invisible thread” symbolism in Christian literature, drawing us back to Truth..
  • The spiritual energy coming to my aid as I face the rock, helping me shift the barrier, is my symbolic representation of angels, ancient guides or Jesus, all of whom I ask to assist me. The indication is I’ve asked and received, but there is a step which I must take alone – only I can freely exercise my will to open the hatch and enter the portal to the kingdom within.

Yet, I am still hesitating. As joyless as is the desert, it is that with which I’m familiar. The portal carries with it a sense of doom, annihilation, of death. I don’t remember the magnificence of the kingdom, and so, I continue to equivocate.

As A Course in Miracles points out, ‘Only God’s plan for salvation will work,’ and in faith that God’s plan cannot fail, I accept where I am.