“Wild” or “I WON THE LOTTO!”

So maybe I didn’t actually cash in on some sweet mulah (with Uncle Rico), but I did "win" the Wild at Heart Boot Camp lottery and secured a spot in April’s retreat in Colorado with John Eldridge himself.

For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about–and I would imagine that is most of you–John Eldridge, author of Wild at Heart (and Sacred Romance and Waking the Dead, and others…) runs a ministry called Ransomed Heart and they host retreats a couple times a year. They allow only 350 or so to attend each retreat, but demand supposedly is considerable higher than that. So, they hold a free lottery for the spots.

Otis and I registered for the lottery and just found out today that we made it for the April 7-10 Wild at Heart Boot Camp. So, we’re pumped at how the Lord’s going to use this to continue developing our faith and passion as young men of God.

You can go here for more information: http://www.ransomedheart.org/default.asp?pl=eventsMensCat.asp?ECID=1.

Eldridge’s message is all about how modern Christianity, and culture itself to a large degree, suppresses the adventurous spirit within men–a spirit that simply reflects the nature of God and was instilled with us. Often Christian men are raised/taught to be "nice guys." This often translates into "doormats"–at least it has in my life to a certain degree. I’ve bottled up a lot of stuff and defaulted to passivity in most situations. God, Jesus and the Hold Spirit are NOT passive beings.

Why do so many men resonate with Braveheart, Gladiator, The Matrix, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Fight Club? They’re all movies about risk, adventure, strength and bravery. Sure, they have blood and violence and swearing. But for me, that’s not the point; that’s not why I like them. It’s beyond that. It’s the desire to live with that sort of abandon.

A line from Fight Club really sticks out to me right now. Early in the movie, Brad Pitt’s character is leaving a bar with Edward Norton’s. As they’re walking along, Pitt stops and tells Norton to punch him. At this point in the movie, Norton is a white collar pencil-pusher who is obsessed with IKEA mail order and lives in a tricked-out condo. Not exactly the fighting type.

"Common’; I’ve never been in a fight," jeers Pitt. "How much can a man know about himself until he’s been in fight?"

That’s where I’ll stop.

Isn’t there some truth to that? It’s not exactly a biblical proverb, but I think there’s something to be learned. I’ve never been in a fight. I wrestled in jr. high and scrapped with my brother pretty hard core growing up. But I’ve never walloped someone. In some ways I’m glad it never came to that. But in other ways–I know I’ve lived a rather passive life. I’m doing what I can to move past that, doing things like skydiving, white water rafting and  back-country hiking, but that’s just a start. In a lot of ways (mostly inter-personally), I’m still a doormat.

Somewhat like women were shoved into the homemaker corner in the mid-1900s, men have been increasingly trained to be more gentle and more quiet and more "in touch with their feelings" and blah, blah, blah. That stuff isn’t wrong in and of itself. But when boys are brainwashed with that from the get-go, it can lead to the infamous mid-life crisis when a man turns 50 and realizes he hasn’t really lived life yet.

One thing I miss most about entering corporate American and working an office job is the calluses on my hands and  the cuts, scrapes and bruises on elbows and knees and shins. The sunburn on my shoulders and sweat dripping from my brow. Sure, it was brutal at times and sure it hurt and made me tired and sore. But wouldn’t I rather be that then lethargic from sitting in front of a computer screen all day?

I’m rambling now and I think I’ve made my point. I desire adventure. And that desire is God-given. This whole Wild at Heart Boot Camp is supposed to train me to connect with that more and glorify God with what I learn.

Life is a game. Play hard.

By Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a marketer, blogger and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

2 replies on ““Wild” or “I WON THE LOTTO!””

Joel, Otis told me about the “adventure” today at the Focus Living Retreat we had at church. Congratulations!! So you are off to Colorado in a couple of months! I’ll be praying for you! Love, Mom

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