“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.” –Longfellow
What kind of conversations take place on a 7 ½ hour day adventure trip between four men ages, 70, 47, 22 and 17 up in the mountains, lakes and rivers, trails of Northeastern Washington?
Here’s a sampling:
- Do aliens exist?
- Does bigfoot exist?
- Did the moon landing really happen?
- Was 9/11 a government conspiracy?
- Russian super destroyers and WW2
- Alex Jones and InfoWars.
- The biological differences of the depth of epidermis (skin) between men and women and how that relates to creation/evolutionary design.
- How to process one’s fear of terror and terrorists in an era of Islamic extremism.
- How to love an enemy.
- Rationalizing fear of the other in a community that is predominantly white.
- The difference between Islam’s texts of violence and the Bible’s texts of violence and how Jesus took all the law’s commands of punishment and death upon himself. He took every stone, every death sentence, every community expulsion so that we might be forgiven and forgive others.
- The life goal and excitement of a man turning 70.
- Learning the names of countless wild flowers.
- Discussing the impact of stream borne giardia on male human intestines.
- The extra layer of fat on a woman’s body.
- “The North”…and how just saying that word sounds more manly in every sentence than west, east or south.
- How a lone fisherman, in a small boat, on a mountain lake, is a true millionaire, a lord of all by enjoying the free gift of beauty and solitude in the beauty of nature.
- How to survive a mountain lion attack.
- Response time in a wild animal attack if you don’t carry your pistol.
- Carburetor design, maintenance and repair.
- Buying a car…for transportation or picking up ladies?
- Early century settlers and their ability to carve out a life from the untamed wild.
- Stories of watching a pack of wolves take down an old bear in Yellowstone.
- Prayer and prophecy evangelism.
- Is physical strength the highest expression of masculinity?
- Crying, diapers, little sleep and the impact of a baby.
- Is there such a thing as male sympathy weight during a woman’s pregnancy?
“Here’s what I want you to teach the older men: enjoy everything in moderation, respect yourselves and others, be sensible, and dedicate yourselves to living an unbroken faith demonstrated by your love and perseverance…in the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. ” -Titus 2:1-2,6
This was not a men’s ministry event…instead it was men ministering life, naturally.
These are wise and meaningful moments of bonding and mentoring. This is where we crack open the mysteries and complexities of life and suck out the rich and fatty marrow. Time together, conquering steep hillsides, soaking in the reanimating power of the wild beauty of nature, touching rock, dirt and stream. Struggling to get to the top of a trail to be able to look from above, where you’ve scrambled and strained below. Surviving the day, proving you’ve got what it took to tackle what nature offered you.
These are small but potent innoculations against the illusions of our time, freely available to all who will just go outside and adventure…together.