Like the night I survived a terrifying lightning storm with my two other 12 year old friends at the base of Hawk Peak one summer, we often witness God’s goodness and power through being exposed to the wildness of his Creation. And if God chooses, he will usher us into an encounter with him through those wilderness experiences. The book of Job is overflowing with powerful outdoor ministry curriculum. It is about how one man encountered God face to face through the wildness of Creation.
Like a trade-show of ideas, a recent three-day event highlighted ways to connect with young people and probe their need for Christ. Social Media was a hot topic, and it reminded me of why so many of us believe wilderness leadership is the healthy sandwich that our Cheetos youth culture is starving for.
Most backcountry enthusiasts follow the mantra, “leave no trace.” Like the attitudes we cop when we have to “share the trail” with someone who is doing something different than us, I was reminded on the trail this past weekend that our sin can also leave a measurable impression. Like so many spiritual metaphors, time in the outdoors is a wikipedia of object lessons. We may think we are without sin or our rebellion only affects ourselves but more likely our behavior leaves a trail “littered with loose debris.”
One sound softens my heart and soothes my soul more than any other: the trickle of a brook, the gurgle of a tributary, the gush of a stream, the rush of a waterfall, the roar of a river, and the hush of a waterway. Each sound summons a deep restful peace.
The future of outdoor leadership jobs is bright because young people care about relationships & the environment, & churches and businesses are looking desperately for leaders who have been shaped by experiences that have tested their ability to adapt and work on teams.
True leaders adapt when the conditions change. Leaders rise up when adaptation is needed. They don’t whine about their limitations, lack of resources or support. They just adapt. Jesus modeled adaptation in the Last Supper scene when it became apparent to him from the Father that his time on earth was coming to a close, and his mission would soon be coming to an end on the cross….
In the wilderness, I encourage new climbers to look at the rock in a slightly different way. If they climb with their feet taking small steps of faith up the wall using their hands for balance (rather than brute strength) its easier to climb on.
Road cycling offers an opportunity to dismantle pride filled tendencies in me. Here are five ways I see how God uses spinning to purify my soul.
I think I know why adventure racing is gaining such popularity. I love the adventure aspect of the races but even more than that, I love what these races teach me about relationships.
Wilderness education can uncork social innovation in young people by giving them time to think.