I’m Headed home from Tulsa after a great PBR weekend. I’m thankful to have had an opportunity to learn and teach. I’ve observed so much contrast and am more stirred than ever to encourage men to take their lives seriously while having fun.
From the mountains of northern Montana to the plains of Oklahoma, there is no difference with the struggle inside men who don’t know who they are.
When does a boy become a man? When he hits puberty… gets driving license… drinks a beer… turns 18… graduates college… gets married… fathers a baby?
It feels like there is so much confusion in our about the concept of adolescence. It seems a prolonged stage where we tell our teens that although they have mature bodies, drivers licenses, and manlike freedoms, it is normal for them to have the selfishness and immaturity of a boy. Thus, our young men are greatly confused wondering, “Am I a boy or a man?”
Many young men spend much of their lives trying to prove that they are men only to hurt themselves and others in the process. On the PBR tour, I see an epidemic of men who have had their talent take them places that their character can’t keep them. I am continually heartbroken as I see these athletes deal with man size opportunity and temptation and fail in the things that really matter because they didn’t have the preparation from another man who would give them true wisdom.
In contrast, I see men on tour who have developed character and are using their careers to better the world around them by displaying Light of Jesus Christ inside them.
What makes the difference?
I see it as a willingness to recognize they need help and a desire to seek out wisdom.
I also see this same conundrum in prison…grown men with hearts and minds that never matured to those of a true man. They never reached the point where they realized they are no longer boys or embraced the journey of authentic manhood.
 This past week, I was privileged to join a group of men who take manhood seriously and invited their sons to join them in the journey. Kevin Grimes, a dear friend, and RHM board member has devoted his life to mentoring boys who have no father. Because of his love for the fatherless, he organized The Adventure Retreat in Glacier National Park to provide young men with wild adventures and experiences that led up to a manhood ceremony.
In the manhood ceremony, these young men had the rare treat of listening to wise men talk about the most important aspects of being a man and then each Father/ Mentor gave their young man a blessing of affirmation while asking in turn for a verbal commitment to accept the responsibility of being a man and choose to follow Jesus by allowing God to Father them. Each young man was presented with a custom engraved sword/ knife to commemorate their initiation into manhood. This ceremony lasted until 4:30 AM yet never became monotonous. It was 6 hours of the Holy Spirit pouring out on this group of men who are taking their lives seriously in areas of character and discipline while learning how fun and spontaneous the journey can be.
Boys, if you’re missing a fatherly example of a man, don’t waste your life. Your Heavenly Father loves you and will take you on the same journey if you will seek and follow Him. Men, it’s not too late to start being a godly example to those watching you. It flies! Don’t waste the opportunity.