Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
“The journey of masculine initiation…
We don’t know much about the stages of development in our instant culture. We have someone else make our coffee for us. We no longer have to wait to have our photos developed – not even for an hour – for now we have digital cameras in our phones that deliver back to us the image, instantly. We don’t have to wait to get in touch with someone – we can email them, page them, call them on a cell phone, text them … this very moment. We don’t need to wait for our leather jackets or our jeans or caps to get that rugged look – they come that way now, pre-faded, tattered. Character can be bought and worn immediately. (wow)
But God is a God of process. If you want an oak tree, he has you start with an acorn. If you want a Bible, well, he delivers that over the course of more than a thousand years. If you want a man, you must begin with a boy. God ordained the stages of masculine development. They are woven into the fabric of our being, just as the laws of nature are woven into the fabric of the earth. In fact, those who lived closer to the earth respected and embraced the stages for centuries upon centuries. We might think of them as the ancient paths. Only recently have we lost touch with them. In exchange for triple venti nonfat sugar-free vanilla lattes. The result of having abandoned masculine initiation is a world of unfinished, un-initiated men.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We needn’t wander in a fog. We don’t have to live alone, striving, sulking, uncertain and angry. We don’t have to figure life out for ourselves. There is another way. Wherever we are in the journey, our initiation can begin in earnest. Far better for us – and for those who have to live with us, who look to us – to rediscover the stages and honor them, live within them, raise our sons through them. Which brings us back to our predicament: who is going to do this for us?”
And so begins our study of “Fathered by God”.
Many of us feel unfinished as men because of the gaps that exist in our teaching – things we missed from our fathers. We feel like, “I don’t know how to handle life”.
Step 1 is just to admit, “I am an unfinished man that needs fathering, that needs initiation”. That’s dropping the poser. Step 2 is having the humility to say, “I can’t do this myself. I need someone to show me the way”. There is incredible freedom that comes as you drop the pose and say “I need help”. There is no shame in saying, “I’ve never used a chain-saw but I want to learn how, can you show me?” To go from a man doing life all alone posing that he has it all figured out to the man that is authentic in is strengths, humble in his weaknesses and freely asks to be fathered is a beautiful thing.
That’s where we’re going this summer. Come along for the ride…