Thursday, August 17, 2006

Canoeing Algonquin

Last week, my 8-year-old son and I went on a three-day canoe excursion into the wilderness of Algonquin Park. We had a glorious time in God's Creation as well as celebrating my son's road to manhood. It was a challenge for him and he had responsibilities. I pondered how few responsibilites and challenges children have today, even my own son. It is no wonder so few grow up to be men who are willing to be faithful and responsible to their families and boldly face challenges. We live in an urban area, where water comes from the tap, food comes from the grocery store, fire comes from the stove and we drive to get where we need to go. In such a time as ours, it behooves us as fathers to create situations where life isn't so convenient. Even so, our little canoeing trip pales in comparison to the life of early pioneers. A few years ago, I read to my son a number of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls. I was painfully reminded how little I know about "work". If Pa Ingalls had been lazy or even mediocre in his work habits, then the Ingalls would have surely died on the American Frontier. There was also a greater dependency on God as Provider. The Ingalls lived off of the land; as God provided for them, so they had. From the books, I was also reminded how good and right it is for man to work. In Eden, God called man to work the garden. Paradise wasn't a wilderness; it was a garden that needed to be tilled, sown and reaped.

It is my prayer and active concern to point my sons towards the goal of manhood and encourage them in the calling God places upon them as men... men who know how to work, men who take hold of their responsibilities and men who are bold in the face of adversity... in other words, men who are like Christ.

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