There You’ll Find Your Demons.
By Karrie Steely.
Once I had a conversation with a Catholic priest, a man I considered to be a good friend. I told him the desert was my favorite place.
He said the desert is a place that stands in the way of finding God. He said that it’s a place to be avoided because the Devil is there waiting to tempt us. Christ was tempted by and overcame the devil there, which he did on behalf of humanity.
I, too, find demons in the desert. Every time I return, my demons are there. They change and morph; I can never completely defeat them.
I don’t want to.
They teach me about myself, others, the world, the great Mystery itself. I do bring my boon back to my regular life when I have conquered one of them. But there’s always another one there when I return.
That’s the difference between religion and spirituality. I look to my demons to find God, while others look to their God to save them from their demons. If Christ wrestled with those demons for me, I wouldn’t have a relationship with God. If I vanquished the demons and no longer possessed them, it would take away the rich dimension of opportunities to pursue the mystery of God.
If you decide to go out there alone, you will find them. They are the giant racing whirlwind columns rising from the hot desert floor. They are the sounds in rustling bushes where there is no breeze. They are the darkness outside the light ring of your fire. They have teeth and claws that strike primal fear deep into the base of your spine.
The beauty of the desert is that you may set out looking outwardly for solutions to your problems, but ultimately only find your self in that big empty place. And until you can look that demon in the eye and recognize your own eyes looking back, you won’t be ready to return.
The desert is where the soul resides. It’s the destination. God is there in demons’ clothing.
Karrie Steely is a dreamer, a doer, an artist and a mother of two teen girls. Recently her spare time has been spent creating, gardening and walking. She has spent the last few months contemplating, mourning and finding hope in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Colorado. The creek that runs by her home has been forever altered, and has provided much advice and insight to her as she navigated her own most recent shift. Magical changes continue to take root and grow in her life. She follows the pathways as they open up before her, in each step experiencing new dimensions and rapture in being alive previously never dreamed of. You can follow her process on her blog. You can also see her artwork at steelydesign.com.