I want to begin my post by saying that this chapter most definitely struck a chord with me. Throughout each page, all I could do was sit back and reflect on where I've been and where I want to go. Although I could ramble on for hours about this stuff, I'm going to focus more on what Wade wrote, adding a little of my own experiences and opinions to affirm what he was saying... with maybe a little dissension.
First off, I'm surprised Wade was able remember all the way back to his 6th grade dance parties!!! HAHAHA!!! (Sorry, had a throw a quick jab). In all seriousness though, I think his unique analogy holds water when looking at the initiative that man must take in order to get initiated by God. When examining the agent (i.e., action, statement, thought, etc.) that is needed to bring about change in a man's life, I think there's a little stirring of the Holy Spirit at work. I once had a friend ask what led me to salvation. Without hesitation I said, "I just felt this pulling at my heart, something inside of me that was leading me to Him." As if Bryan had predicted my response, he immediately asked me another question, "Where do you think that came from?" "The Holy Spirit" I said. "Exactly," he mused, "so did you choose him, or did he choose you???" Without going off on a predestination tangent, I tell that story only to argue that that most men seek to initiate change based on the movement of the Holy Spirit. I would even posit that this is the catalyst for transitioning from the Beloved Son to the Cowboy.
Walk with me on this trail, if you will: according to Eldredge, man yearns to feel loved, and he inevitably asks God this question, "do you love me, Lord?" To which He replies, "Yes, you are my beloved son....now get going!" I believe this is the moment when God tells the Boy that he is ready to become a Cowboy.
Now, to Wade's mention of where He wants us to go. Although Eldredge doesn't lay out any specific destinations, he does STRONGLY encourage a type of locale. This is where I feel a deep connection to this chapter, because over the past couple of years I have developed a sincere passion for the outdoors, particularly the mountains.
Despite growing up at the base of the Smoky Mtns, I can't say that I am much of an outdoorsman. I used to kid around that I loved to be outdoors, as long as it was fenced in! However, throughout my own personal masculine journey, I have started looking to nature as my "sanctuary", and that was before I joined the Army. This environment is where I think men should go when searching for God's direction for their life, especially those who do not normally partake in outdoor activities. If you were to look at practically all the major men in Scripture, each spent time "in the wilderness" with God. Moses, David, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and a host of others all sought refuge in the wild when communicating with the great I Am. So, if you're feeling an urge to do something different, maybe you should go get a map of the nearest wooded area and start walking. I guarantee you He won't let you get lost!
Back to the dance for a quick point: we are all change targets, whether we like it or not. What we all need to discern is that agent in our individual lives. Frankly, I'm in the "wilderness" right now, aka the Army. God took Les and I away from our friends and family for some alone time, and what I'm trying to figure out now is what to do when we return home.
OK, this chapter has way too much good stuff to write one post on, so I'll save the rest of later.
I speak for both of us when I say that we eagerly await some responses!