Once, on a trip to Egypt, I noticed that after a 9-hour road trip, nothing changed in the scenery. It was all sand, rocks, and cacti. It was only then that I realized how blessed the Philippines is. Any 9-hour travel would show how rich the country is in water, mountains, plants, trees, and birds.
It is said that almost 1/3 of the world is desert. A place that is so hard to live in.
In discussing the desert, the Gospel tells us a story of John the Baptist living in the desert. Certainly, it was not easy for him. Three things he had to deal with:
- Food and water were very limited. How many people actually die in the desert from hunger and thirst? Certainly, John the Baptist felt this difficult experience.
- Danger. The animals can be dangerous. The people you encounter can be dangerous and even the weather can be dangerous – at night it is very cold and in the daytime, it is very hot.
- Loneliness. With nobody around, loneliness becomes a reality.
Yet, despite John the Baptist experiencing all of this, what was his message? “Prepare the ways of the Lord. Make straight his path.”
Why such a message? It is because John the Baptist experienced the faithfulness of God.
Hence this is the challenge for us to prepare:
- Our relationship with God through prayer.
- Our relationship with others through good works.
- Our relationship with ourselves by being good stewards of God’s blessings.