christian retreat Archives - The New Frontier: Taking Fathers and Sons on The Heroic Journey of Manhood

Reflection and Relationship

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This week I was looking through pictures of the recent trip my son Jared and I took out West. It was so awesome and special; full of beauty, adventure and challenge.  Before the trip I had been sensing a call to a deeper understanding of our ultimate purpose as humans (not just our mission -what we do). In looking for the ultimate purpose I  take my questions to the Father as His Son. Why did the Father create humankind?  What was His heart? What did He desire to accomplish?  The Father reminded me of Genesis and Ephesians which explain we are created in the image of the Trinity and placed in the garden to be with Him. He also took me to the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed, and some of the mystics of the faith. This truth was foundational but I sensed He had more for my heart.  So looking back to the trip, I realize I love nature because my Father uses it to speak truth to me, to capture my heart and call me up into deeper truth, understanding,  adventure, intimacy and love. One of our stops was Sylvan Lake in Custard State Park in South Dakota. These pictures are representative of what we saw and experienced.  Take a look…
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As the Father does, He used this time at the lake to stir my heart and speak to His purpose for mankind. Here is how and where He led me. In these pics you see the “real mountains” and then the reflection of the mountains in the lake.   It’s amazing how the image is clear and crisp and becomes part of the beauty, adventure and perfection.  I felt a nudge
and some deep emotion in those moments to ask – how does the water so perfectly reflect the mountains?  Here are some thoughts:
– the water is close to the mountain: in fact right up against it.
– the water is still.  A ripple or wave instantly changes the waters ability to reflect.
– the water is a part of the larger scenery – the water is “ok” with it’s part and that lets it be a reflection of the mountains and the surrounding area
– the water wasn’t full of things that move it: kayaks, swimmers,  dogs fetching sticks and kids playing. That helped keep the water calm and smooth.
– the water stayed within the banks.  That put it in proximity to the mountains and kept it from being destructive and bring life to the animals and foliage around it.
I am sure you know where this is going! So here are the parallels between the physical and spiritual I felt lead into to by my Father.   The water is me and all children of God.
The mountains and scenery are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    So then what do those parallels and pictures speak to me?
– be as close to my Father as I can.  The closer, the better, clearer and truer a reflection of the Trinity I will be.
– be still. Settle my heart, mind and body.  Motion does not mean progress or maturity.
– remember there is a bigger story that I am invited into.   I have a part to play, play it well but remember it’s not my story – it’s His!   My story and my life won’t matter or make sense outside the context of His Greater Story.
– keep my life less full; less busy. Make room for the real purpose of my life – reflection and relationship.
– the “banks” of my life – the boundaries around my life – are meant to give me freedom and life to those around me   Learn to live within them…
I love the way the Father invited me into this moment of intimacy and understanding  and then called me up to live it out!
For me the time at Sylvan Lake reinforced that the ultimate purpose of mankind is to be an image bearer (a reflection of) and to be in intimate fellowship (in relationship with) the Trinity (the whole of God).  (Gen1,2 Eph. 1,2)
I am sure there are more parallels to make, but I thought I’d share what I have been hearing and how that translated into to some concrete actions.
Blessings to you all as you learn of and lean into the purpose for which you were created!
Your brother in Christ,


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