Eldredge starts off his final chapter with yet another great verse that spells out this journey we have made throughout the book.
"You have made known to me the path of life." (Psalms 16:11)
Frankly, it's a somewhat bitter sweet that Wade and I have concluded this long(er than we meant it to be) process of learning the various phases in life and how we are to journey through them. I've learned a lot about myself and what I must do in order to live this life He has given me.
Although Eldredge focuses practically all of the last chapter on his youngest son Blaine's masculine journey, he emphasizes his own need, and that of Blaine, to be intentional about their pursuit. Think of it as a call to arms for all men, regardless of age, race, creed, etc. We must all be intentional in what we do right now, in the future, and especially in our interaction with other men. We owe it to ourselves, and those we come into contact with, to make a concerted effort to maximize our time here on earth to His glory. Most importantly, we owe it to the youth to lead the way. This is what Wade and I seek to do.
Wade mentioned in an earlier post that the two of us are looking to write a book on the importance of male relationships. While this might be a somewhat lofty goal, the main purpose is to be intentional in our pursuit to grow as men and encourage others to do the same. What we have witnessed and experienced throughout this project is a lack of intentionality among today's men to grow individually as well as with other men. In order to get the utmost fulfillment in life God has provided us, we have got to be intentional in our RELATIONSHIPS.
Life isn't about fortune, fame, or anything associated with power or materialism. It's about relationships. I have yet to find ANYONE in this world (past or present) who can prove otherwise. So, it's imperative that we invest our time in relationships with other people. Yes, marriages are important and so is being a father; but I firmly believe you cannot be the best at either unless you are surrounded by a group of men that compel you to want to excel in those other areas of your life. This is what we felt is lacking in this book. We're not saying that Eldredge completely missed the boat on this topic, as it's not the book's premise. We just feel that he glossed over the importance of male relationships in growing through each phase of life.
I'd like to think of this as the end of the beginning. My dear friend and I have ended our first of many journeys together and we are excited with where the future is going to take us...together.
It's my sincere hope that SOMEONE out there has been reading these posts and has gotten SOMETHING out of it. However, even if there isn't, I take comfort in knowing that both Wade and myself have grown stronger in our faith and our friendship. If that's all God wanted us to get out of it, then we succeeded! He made known to us the path of life and now it's our responsibility to follow it.