Death and the Desert

[et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#f7f7f4″ allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”1080px” custom_width_percent=”80%” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” disabled=”off”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”30px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”30px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

Dropping my Religion was the most painfully honest thing I’ve ever done. Religion was my identity until I was 20 years old. Everyone I knew was a Christian, and I wanted to be a Missionary.

As the years went on, though, I believed it less and less. I prayed all the time, but never heard from Him. Then I prayed for the last time. I wouldn’t try to talk to God again until three years later, when I thought I was going to die in the Mojave Desert. 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”17px||NaNpx|” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”30px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

The Mojave Desert is an alien landscape. Breaking up its flat features are mountains unlike anything else. They look like they’re made of boulders, like God dumped all the rocks in a pile here.

The first time I went to this place was with my university dorm. We wanted a bonding experience to start the year. We could have gone bowling or done a scavenger hunt. Instead, we went camping in the Mojave Desert.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”980px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”on” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”30px|||” custom_padding_tablet=”6px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”off” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/sunset-1700877_640-425.jpg” alt=”Desert Death – Obit Magazine” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/boulders-196405_640-425.jpg” alt=”Desert Death – Obit Magazine” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/grave-234242_640-425.jpg” alt=”Desert Death – Obit Magazine” title_text=”Courtesy of Pixabay” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

We didn’t have much of a plan. We woke up at our campsite and started looking for something to do. The tallest boulder mountain had a lone Joshua Tree at its peak. We had no climbing gear or experience, but we set out for that peak.

To get up these boulders, you have to look for a natural, climbable path. Sometimes you get to a point where there’s no way to continue forward. You have to go back down, then jump to another boulder and hope that one has a way up.

At the start, we joked as we climbed, but that died out as the dry desert sun beat the joy out of us. Other than our grunts of exertion, we climbed in silence.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”24px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”on” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Quote” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”900px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”32″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.3em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”16px||30px|” disabled=”off”]

I turned around early, exhausted by the heat. I told my friends that I’d be fine getting down on my own.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

It was easy at the start. But as the sound of my friends footsteps grew further away, the silence of the desert enveloped me. All I could hear was my own panting breath.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”830px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”on” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”51px|||” custom_padding_tablet=”17px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”3_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”The Doors” src=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/joshua-tree-5104_640.jpg” alt=”Desert Death – Obit Magazine” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”fade_in” sticky=”on” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” custom_css_main_element=”width:130px;” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”130px” text_font=”PT Serif||on||” text_font_size=”16″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”20px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

Those people had gear to climb at Joshua Tree.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

Places that had been difficult to climb up were impossible to climb down. Without my friends to back me up, my confidence eroded every time the pebbles slid underneath my feet on a steep decline.

I took a detour down a safer way, then a detour from the detour. Within minutes, I had no idea where the original path was.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”24px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”on” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Quote” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”900px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”32″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.3em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”16px||30px|” disabled=”off”]

I was an unathletic kid alone on a rock at noon in the desert.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

Then I shook with panic as I realized the main problem wasn’t just slipping down the 20 foot drop between boulders, it was the very real possibility that there might not be a safe path down the mountain from where I was. I imagined helicopters searching for my body and finding a dried husk of a corpse, cooked to medium rare by the sun.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” global_module=”29167″ make_fullwidth=”on” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”780px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”on” gutter_width=”1″ custom_padding=”7%||7%|” padding_mobile=”off” custom_margin=”4%||2%|” background_image=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/skull-background-1920.png” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”on” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”on” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”on” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_signup global_parent=”29167″ admin_label=”Email Optin” provider=”mailchimp” mailchimp_list=”7a667755b6″ aweber_list=”none” title=”HOLD ON, NOW THAT YOU’RE STILL ALIVE…” button_text=”DEAD SIMPLE!” use_background_color=”on” background_color=”rgba(33,33,33,0.88)” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”center” use_focus_border_color=”off” header_font_size=”30px” body_font_size=”19px” body_letter_spacing=”1px” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” custom_button=”on” button_text_size=”20px” button_text_color=”#ffffff” button_bg_color=”#ff5722″ button_border_width=”4px” button_border_color=”#ffffff” button_border_radius=”6px” button_letter_spacing=”0″ button_use_icon=”off” button_icon=”” button_icon_placement=”right” button_on_hover=”off” button_text_color_hover=”#212121″ button_bg_color_hover=”rgba(255,255,255,0.7)” button_border_color_hover=”#ff5722″ button_border_radius_hover=”9px” button_letter_spacing_hover=”2px” disabled=”off”]

 Get OBIT MAGAZINE deadly articles & special goodies

[/et_pb_signup][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

Maybe it was heat exhaustion, but I started to seriously consider rolling down the mountain. I would break some bones, but at least I’d get down. I began looking for the least bumpy slopes.

This is when I said a prayer again. Here I was, denying every logical thing I knew and blabbering to the man in the sky about how I’d come back to him if He got me off this mountain.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”830px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”on” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”50px|||” custom_padding_tablet=”17px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image left” src=”http://obitmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/desert-1246842_1280.jpg” alt=”Desert Death – Obit Magazine” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”fade_in” sticky=”on” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1px” border_style=”solid” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”0px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”off” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”620px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”20″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.5em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”46px||0px|” disabled=”off”]

I managed to stay in the sweet spot where I was hysterical enough to beg God for mercy but not enough to throw myself down the mountain. Through random chance, like a pinball bouncing back and forth, I eventually found a way down.

It was random chance, wasn’t it? Did the divine LORD, in his infinite wisdom, design for me to look into the jaws of death in that desert in order to come back to Him?

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”on” width_unit=”on” custom_width_px=”620px” custom_width_percent=”80%” use_custom_gutter=”off” gutter_width=”2″ custom_padding=”24px|||” padding_mobile=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” parallax_2=”off” parallax_method_2=”on” parallax_3=”off” parallax_method_3=”on” parallax_4=”off” parallax_method_4=”on” disabled=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Quote” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”900px” text_font=”PT Serif||||” text_font_size=”32″ text_text_color=”#363636″ text_line_height=”1.3em” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” custom_margin=”16px||30px|” disabled=”off”]

Maybe He did. I’m not sure. His messages would be a lot clearer if He just sent a text.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” color=”#aeaeac” show_divider=”on” divider_style=”solid” divider_position=”top” divider_weight=”1px” hide_on_mobile=”off” disabled=”off”] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Leave a Reply

Notify of
avatar
1000
wpDiscuz