Are Men Lost in the Woods
Are the Church and Its Men Lost in the Woods?
Men need to join with one another and rediscover their significance and identity through the
Pursuit of God and Spiritual Fatherhood!
My father, two brothers, and I have always loved the outdoors. So in our family, one of the most important yearly events is going elk hunting together for several days.
“One such time, when I was eighteen, we were on the Flattops, in the Colorado Rockies near Trappers Lake. I love this beautiful area. My dad and my brother left at daybreak to hunt, but since I wasn’t feeling well I started hiking instead to the area where we planned to hunt later in the day. I reached a meadow where I thought I might see some elk, and sat down to watch the area. The meadow was surrounded by black, downed timber.
I’d been sitting there for about two hours when a man who looked to be about thirty years old came rushing out of the timber. His eyes looked wild and his hair was disheveled. As he rushed into the clearing, he immediately noticed me sitting there and ran directly to me. He plopped down beside me and asked, “Where am I?”
Now notice, I was an eighteen-year-old kid looking at what I considered to be a grown man who, I assumed, should have known where he was. I didn’t quite know how to answer him; we were in northwestern Colorado on the edge of the Flattops wilderness area. I finally looked at him and asked, “Well, where do you want to be?” He replied, “I don’t know.” So I asked, “Where did you start out from this morning?” He answered, “I don’t know.”
Think about his situation: He had left camp at six o’clock that morning. It was then two in the afternoon: eight hours later. He had been lost in black, dead, fallen timber and had no idea where he was that whole time.
In an attempt to get some sort of orientation, I asked, “What did it look like where you were camped?” He began to describe a pond with lily pads. Fortunately for him, there was only one lily pad pond in probably fifteen or twenty square miles. So I knew he was only about two and a half miles from his camp.
In an effort to orient him, I looked to the north and pointed down to a county road about a mile away. I pointed to the left, which would be to the west, and I said, “That’s the road that goes to Buford, and Buford is that way.” He looked at me and replied, “No it isn’t.” Pointing to the right, he said, “Buford is that way.” I said, “No, Buford is this way.” And he exclaimed, “No, Buford is that way!”
I don’t know what you were like when you were eighteen years old, but my fuse was pretty short. I was getting a little irritated. Finally, I turned to the guy and got my nose about two inches away from his and asked, “Who’s lost: me or you?” He answered, “I am.” So I pointed to the west and announced, “Buford is that way.”
The fellow continued to sit beside me for a considerable amount of time. While sitting there we saw a group of cow elk walk into a meadow stretching to the east. I told him that my brother had a cow license, and immediately he began to repeat, “Should I shoot it?! Should I shoot it?” Even though he didn’t have a license, would be breaking the law, and didn’t know where in the world he was, he still wanted to shoot that elk!
Eventually he settled down, and after a while he asked me where the county road that went to the east would take him. I told him that it went to the top of Ripple Creek Pass. That was where his party had left the road to get into their camp. The man didn’t have the personal confidence or skills to walk the trail the two-and-a-half miles to his camp.
Instead, he walked the mile out to the road and caught a five-mile ride to the top of the pass. He then proceeded to walk eight miles to his camp. He couldn’t bring himself to trust the trail that would have taken him directly to his camp.
The last I saw of the fellow was his red plaid coat and hatless head going down the trail to the county road. I am positive it was well after dark when he made it back to his camp.
As a man, pastor, or leader, you can probably identify with the lesson of this story. In your mind you may be saying, “I have had men who are lost around me most of my life. How do I help them find their way back to God?”
I would like to invite you to journey through our website and learn how you can take the initial steps of blazing a trail for the men in your Church–a trail that will allow men to join with one another and rediscover their significance and identity through the pursuit of God and spiritual fatherhood.
Go deeper in discovering just how “Lost” Men really are!