I remember this walk I was on in January of 2015. We had just finished a session at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp and the next hour or so was for each man to spend one-on-one with God. We were given questions to pray about and seek God about. Those questions were how I saw myself as a man, how others see me as a man, and who does God say I am. I never had taken time to spend in just contemplative prayer and discussion with God. I remember sitting on a boulder over looking the snow covered grounds of Crooked Creek Ranch trying to listen for an answer, but not sure if I was hearing anything.
After some time, I put my journal into my backpack and decided to take a walk. I made my way to the main road that led out of the ranch back to Fraser, CO. I remember waking and feeling the cool air and then watching my steps around some ice patches. Once I got to more stable ground, I heard something that just blew my mind. I heard, “This is who you have been. You’ve spent too much of your life on this safe and wide road. It’s time for you to leave this road and take a new path.” What do you do with this? I remember later that day journaling, “I can’t take risks if I just stay on a path and not take the one less traveled.“
I’ve thought a great deal about this walk lately and the new trail that God has been forging ahead of me these past couple of years. I chose to let go of myself and the work He has done has been tremendous. Last month, I began work in a counseling ministry and then have been given the chance to lead new men in discipleship and restoration of their hearts.
In some way I find the sense of humor of God in this. I think of the quiet, reserved, and passive man that I’ve been most of my life. He has taken that and flipped it all around. He led me into counseling, where I am completing my Masters now and working with people one-on-one now. On top of that, I continue to hear the call of God to seek the hearts of men beginning with this discipleship group. I joked in our larger men’s bible study at church a couple of weeks back and we looked our value drivers. To me, it related to Morgan’s teaching on Styles of Relating from Become Good Soil. I shared with the men the parallel to Jesus and how he moves through each style or each value driver all in a manner of doing the Father’s will. I talked about my predominant style, which we all have, but God will often need us to move. I said, “I’m becoming a counselor, talk about moving out of your comfort zone.”
I can only imagine where God is going to use me next, but after sharing some ideas with some trusted men and mentors, the image is starting to come clearer. As I said when I started this journey in early 2015, I have no idea where this is going to lead me, but all I know is that I am trusting in the Father to take the lead. Proverbs 1:7 in The Message says “Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to God.” That’s where I have start now. I can’t take this to anyone, but Him first.
Where do you see yourself heading? Have you ever sat with God and asked Him who you truly are and how does He want to use you? Not everyone is meant to make radical shifts like this, but that is my story and this is how the Father chose to disrupt my life of complacency. You never know when the answer may come.
The Robert Frost words, “Two roads diverge in the wood, and I took the one less traveled” continue to ring to me over and over. It’s not going to always be pleasant and easy journey. This road less traveled is full of potholes, rocks, and thorns. I have days, where I venture back near the safer road and think, maybe I should merge there again. I can’t though. Once you have truly experienced God and His goodness and begin to follow, nothing can ever be the same. You will be opposed, believe me, you will be opposed
It’s a journey folks. To be able to step off the road of performance and the road of safety and comfort and to venture down a path where you can’t see around any turn only comes through faith. Most of us never choose to take this journey. Look at the traffic camera images every morning. That’s most of us. Trucking along day-to-day down the road we are all to familiar with. Choose to risk and choose to forge a new trail where God moves ahead of you into the unknown. The unscripted life is the only life worth living.
So well written, I can see the counseling in the writing. Risk is reserved only for those willing to have faith that God will take your risk and turn it into something we could have never imagined. Many men read John Eldridge and think, wow very bright good ideas. Others read Eldridge and those writers calling us into an exciting walk of faith and we know immediately our masculine soul has been called on a journey.