Men- what an adventure our trip to Eagle Rock Loop was! What a sincere honor and pleasure for me to meet and fellowship with each of you, many for the first time. God truly spoiled and blessed me in the company of such fine men. Thank you.
Writing in a journal has been a way that I have been able to process, and hear from the Father about life. And so, I wanted to take this opportunity before time passes and busyness creep in, to write a few thoughts and reflections on our hiking trip to seal the experience in my heart. I want to share this with each of you as a way to encourage and crystallize your own experience in this trip and allow the Father to reveal more to you.
Walking with God is Frontier
Walking with God as Father is a journey of ongoing initiation. My life [and each of yours] is one of a loving Father molding, shaping, challenging and disciplining his beloved son with the intent of the son bringing the father glory thru his full experience of life and freedom. Often times it doesn’t look this way or seem clear to the eye; sometimes it feels opposite, but feelings and emotion can mask the truth.
We all are uninitiated and unfinished men. Each of us is on a different part of the trail of life and at different levels of experience, need, and expectation. Each of us carry around different ‘stuff’ [good and bad] in our backpacks. Every man has a separate unique design that the Father is crafting and pulling out in hopes of you becoming the true YOU. What a powerful thing to sit around the campfire on the second evening and hear each man verbalize what he feels is the unique glory/giftedness God has created in him and how each man was wrestling with it, pushing further in to seek the Father in this. There were a few times when guys mentioned their glory/giftedness and I immediately saw them in it after having only spent two days around them-
“Yeah, servant of course you are; teacher, yeah, definitely.” That conversation alone is rare and worth the trip by itself.
I would classify myself as a beginner when it comes to hiking/backpacking. Although I had some experience growing up doing this, that had been years ago. So even with the training I did ahead of time I found myself at the end of the first day- cold, overwhelmed, exhausted, tested and with badly sore and blistered feet… I know each of you were challenged on this hike in different ways and I think it’s important for us as men to be ok with the ‘vulnerability’ of such testing. To not be controlled by the mindset of “I’m fine, I’m in control, I can prove myself, I’m not weak…” There is something good and noble in that vulnerability and openness that the Father can speak and minister to. And sometimes it will only come out in a wilderness experience such as this.
In thinking about the last day of the hike on that Sunday morning, it is amazing to me how God was at work and His genuine kindness on display in the details of that day. What if one of us hadn’t got sick? Would we have all made it the final 7 miles to finish the loop? Would it have likely been dark before we finished and midnight before we got back home to our family? Possibly. I know I would have suffered in those final miles. What if there hadn’t been a medical professional in the group to minister care? And what about those people who gave us a ride in the truck who were living out of a tent? $20 bucks was probably a pretty big deal to them to get out of nowhere just to drive some guys 2 miles… And to do all that and yet still give the guys in the group who had a passion to finish the entire the loop, the satisfaction of that achievement. Amazing.
His love. His Kindness. His Grace.
On full display in the splendor of his great outdoors and creation. So that He may be Glorified.
While you trail warriors were finishing off the loop so we could head back home, I found myself sitting on a rock in the river, praying for each man in our group and just worshiping God in His Glory. I pulled out my journal to capture the moment… Here are a couple of excerpts of what I wrote that the Spirit spoke that I believe are not just for me but for our whole group of men.
“Stay in the River of My Love”
Well Done! Are you ready for more? To keep hiking on this trail with me? My strength is enough; but it is still your choice for when and how far you wish to go.
Do You Trust Me? Will You Follow? Let me Lead You!
Powerful words for deeper initiation on the masculine journey with the Father. There is more. More revelation; more life; more mystery; more challenges. But He is Faithful and True. He is our Trail Guide.
I pray our Father in Heaven thru the Holy Spirit would speak and move in a personal and intimate way for you in your life right now; that He reveals himself to each man. That the glory and the work he uniquely created for you and in you will manifest and bloom and His grace and favor will fall like rain. And that we will each be vulnerable and open to receive it humbly.
So that He is Glorified.
Your fellow brother on the trail-