There is a time in all our lives when we get hit by a rogue wave. We suddenly look up from whatever we are doing and we have no more to give. We are empty–all that is left within us is a raging desire that cannot be described and always seems out of reach.
We are afraid of this feeling, which I can only describe as a longing for something greater. We hide from it because we live in a world that is not great; a world where greatness is impossible unless we get lucky. We hide from this feeling because it makes us feel insignificant. It makes us feel stuck in a rut, untalented, unproductive, uncreative, and destined to lead a regular, boring life.
That feeling is inspired by God.
I call it the Wilderheart, because that is what it is: it is wild, and it is your heart.
Have you ever wondered at humanity’s fascination with God and godhood? Why do novelists and moviemakers create stories about god-like men who go on grand adventures, face many hardships, and triumph? We are obsessed with greatness. We are obsessed with regaining something that we lost thousands of years ago.
Our Wilderheart always calls us to greatness, but we ignore it because it is impossible to achieve greatness on our own. We even go so far as to create “Christian” doctrines centered around our own weakness and incapacity to accomplish great things. We disguise our impotence with the cloak of humility and religion. We crush our Wilderheart and bring it back to reality.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone who wanted to restore us? Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was someone calling us to seize the day? What if there was a Master of Creativity who designed our Wilderheart for greatness, gave us tools to achieve greatness, and had the most detailed plan for greatness in our lives? What if this Master calls us to greatness so that, through us, his greatness is seen?
Following the call of our Wilderheart is not as simple as “following our dreams”. Following our Wilderheart means purposefully choosing discomfort. The Wilderheart is not content to rest in a suburb. It must venture into the most dangerous, desolate places. It must explore, find adventure, fight in the battles.
That is why most people choose to neglect their Wilderheart. It is so dangerous. There is a certainty of failure. They do not realize that failure is something to embrace, not run away from. When a scientist or inventor runs a test, every failure helps him determine his success. We, the rest of humanity, are no different. We only think we are.
Following our Wilderheart is not as simple as “facing our fears”. Following the Wilderheart means that we begin to love the fight against fear. It means that when a new fear arises and paralyzes us, when we stare death in the face, we laugh because this is a challenge worthy of one of the sons of God!
The Wilderheart does not ask how many enemies there are–it asks where they are.
Following our Wilderheart is as simple as stepping out your front door. It’s a dangerous business stepping out your front door–you never know where you might be swept off to.
If you step out your front door, not with the intention of being something new or doing something new, but with the intention of following your Wilderheart to greatness, if you listen closely in quiet times, if you keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs, if you can dream and not become the slave of dreams, if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of time well spent, you are alive, and greatness is within you.