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  • Writer's pictureRobert Moore

40 Days in the Wilderness - What I’ve Learned

My ole war buddy Chris Newton reminded me of how I had recently commented that the first thing Jesus did after being baptized was to go into the wilderness for 40 days. If you know me, you know I'm not the Second-Coming but I have learned, relearned and rediscovered many lessons in my first 40 days in the wilderness.

  1. I'm not entitled to anything. The trail is a great equalizer. It doesn't care where you came from, your age, your education, who your parents are or if you're a decorated combat veteran. It, like life, wants you to show up every day and give it your best effort. Not a strong effort - your best effort. You don't get free miles because of your past works and yesterday's efforts don't carry over. Everyday starts at mile zero and the same chores have to be repeated if you are going to have a successful day.

  2. When I come to the base of a tough mountain, I have often become overwhelmed with dread. These mountains are thousands of feet high with miles long approaches up rocks and roots and steps carved into slippery granite. They have intimidating names and fearsome reputations. It would be easy to be defeated in my head before I take the first step. But, I have discovered something very important. No matter how massive that mountain is - the same God that made it created me. (Paraphrasing Sir Edmond Hillary) I can never hope to conquer that mountain but with God's help I can conquer my self (spelling intentional). When I rely entirely on my self-determination, I'm limited by self-imposed barriers. Like I'm too old or too out of shape or I have a hip replacement. But when I rely on God - he has no limits.

  3. When I'm alone in my tiny tent at night and the wind is blowing and I'm freezing, I don't miss my truck or my house. I don't miss my furnace or my bed - I miss my family, my loved ones. They bring me a deeper comfort than warm feet ever will. But, I can take my loved ones for granted when surrounded with all of those material comforts. But when stripped bare - aside from my faith, my family is all that truly matters. I write this on May 1st, my mother's birthday. This is the first time in my 55 years that she hasn't been alive to celebrate it with me. It's heart wrenching but I believe she is out of pain and in a better place. The only way I know to celebrate her this year is to better appreciate those that are still here. And the best way to do that is keep going up this trail.


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Timothy Forrest
Timothy Forrest
May 06

Rob! Your reflections on your 40 days in the wilderness resonate deeply. The trial, like life, demands our best effort every day. I agree that it does not care and relying on God transcends self imposed limitations! Humility, faith and family! Your words remind us that wilderness experiences—whether physical or metaphorical—shape our character, deepen our faith, and connect us to what truly matters. Keep going up the trail!

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Robert Moore
Robert Moore
May 06
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Right on!

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