What are your questions? Who are you asking?

I received an email from a young man today that heard me teach at a recent Wild at Heart Retreat. His email was simple and yet startlingly refreshing.

“Can you give me a few names of some authors you would recommend as I start out this journey?”

It’s rare for me to hear good men ask honest questions.  It takes humility, courage and genuine honest soul searching.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard John Eldredge teach on the Larger Story – the Gospel as a four-act play.  It was September of 1998.  It revolutionized my heart as a young man.  Next thing I knew I was in his office telling him, “I’m in.  Where do I sign up?  What do you need?”  I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but what I was asking for was discipleship. I was looking for a man to walk me through the masculine journey.

Weeks later I came and said it.  “John, will you disciple me?”  I’ll never for get his response.

“Real discipleship doesn’t happen with programs or formulas.  It is shaped by asking questions.  What are your questions?”

I’ve been asking questions now, of many older wiser men, for 13 years.  It’s transformed my walk with God beyond belief.  I’ve learned in humility another great secret – to ask questions of good men, even when I am sure I already know the answer.

There are great treasures to be gained, but few people are asking questions.

“Answers before questions do harm to the soul.”

In this age of gross overload of content, answers are abundant.  But questions are rare.

There is a tremendous gravitational pull from both our broken culture and our broken souls, to hide behind answers.  The thirties is a decade of excavation. Excavation of the masculine soul begins by digging deep and letting the honest questions buried within us come to the surface.  Often hidden behind the questions that first surface within us are even the deeper questions – the golden questions – the secrets to our restoration.

Have you noticed how often Jesus leads with asking a question?  He must be after something…

In the last week I’ve asked older, wiser men questions about:
Terrestrial biology
Social media

Survival is 101 version of the Abundant Life. No one knows survival better than the Navy Seals.  One of their mottos in their missions, as communicated by Cade Courtley in Seal Survival Guide,

“Never hesitate to ask a question that could save your life.”

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.  And the teacher needs the student as much as the student needs the teacher…

What are your questions?

Who are you asking?

A Sand County Almanac

One of the founding fathers of the conservation movement, Leopold offers stunning hands-on miles and eloquent words to bringing home the idea of conservation as extending ethics to include land and animals.  In some deep ways he begins to capture Genesis 2 and Romans 8 in it’s mandate for us to steward ALL of creation – God’s people, God’s land, and God’s animals. And that restoration, of Kingdom come, includes all of creation applauding as the sons and daughters of God take their place leading, offering, and stewarding creation according to God’s heart, pleasure and purpose.  It would do us well to step out of the modern western evangelistic worldview and recover some other golden pieces of the Gospel that have been lost.

The following is the description from Amazon:

“We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir.” San Francisco Chronicle

These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape — the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. A stunning tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect the world we love.