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Man hike #2: the deluge

The first Man Hike this past July was such a great experience that we had high expectations for this second one in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.   The autumn leaves were at their color peak – orange, red, green. Scott Molgard mapped a route that had us hiking four miles strai…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The first Man Hike this past July was such a great experience that we had high expectations for this second one in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
 
The autumn leaves were at their color peak – orange, red, green. Scott Molgard mapped a route that had us hiking four miles straight up the slopes of Mt. Jefferson.

 

It was as tough a stretch of trail as I’ve been on, oftentimes hand over hand up the rocks and halfway up, it began to snow.
 
When at last we arrived at our campsite (called “The Perch” for its location high up the mountains), we began to feel the cold down in our bones.That evening found me wearing two pair of long underwear as the snow continued to fall.
 

The next morning we hiked up past the tree-line where we treated to a spectacular view of the autumn leaves in the valley below. The rains began that night and continued nonstop until we left for the airport. What to do?

 
The essence of a man hike is the way in which we connect with one another and God. But the next morning, standing forlornly around the fire as the waters fell, we mainly felt soggy and disconnected.
 
 
“Let’s sing a song,” Scott suggested.

All I could think of was, “This is the day the Lord has made.”

 
 

The singing lifted our spirits a little, so we began to pray for one another. We seemed to be slogging to make any spiritual headway. Then as we split up into groups of three, the atmosphere changed. Though the rain continued to pelt us, we found ourselves breaking through. I can’t tell you how God showed up, but he did. You could see it as guys’ tears mingled with the raindrops on their cheeks.
 

Three hours later, we went not on a hike, but a run along a forest path to a waterfall. And we treated ourselves to a meal afterward at a nearby restaurant.
 
The magic had happened again. But this time God’s lesson was different: Life throws a lot at you. It often feels like a discouraging rain. Our identity as men is perpetually under attack. But, the choice to persevere and eventually triumph is ours to make.
 
I think we’re onto something with these man hikes. They tap a deep need we men have. We’re going to be doing a lot more of them — they’re a way to help guys walk in freedom and victory.
 
Let me know if you’re interested.

Comments (9)

  • My friend,

    I actually have walked this same path with a friend from Keene, NH many years ago.

    Hiking with a man is like a metaphor for “walking with Jesus” and you are on to something.

    I have an idea.

    Shalom.

  • sounds like an amazing time. makes me want to get out into the wild with some brothers in Christ right now.

  • God is always there when we search in the right place. It’s the lesson that Elijah learned in the cave.
    It took a while for the prophet to get his own ideas of what was supposed to happen out of the way. But once he did, he heard the Lord in a still, small voice.
    God is always here. We are the ones who sometimes don’t show up. It’s like the footprints thing.

  • Man, I wish I could have joined you guys on these hikes! Thanks for sharing. I’ll take the guys on a manhike in the wilderness of Nicaragua sometime.

  • Seth, that sounded like a GREAT trip! My theory is that the worse the weather, the stronger the memories!

    I believe real magic happens when guys get out on campouts.

    Case in point: I worked in an office environment for about 3 years and once – towards the end of my time there – I organized a campout for about half a dozen of us guys. It was a short trip but involved some adventure: a near encounter with a rattlesnake, some spelunking, and a lot of boulder hopping.

    Now whenever I run into these former co-workers, guess what they always bring up? Yep! Our great outdoors adventure! It made an impression and I feel bad now I didn’t organize more.

    FWIW, I think the cubicle environment is masculine draining…

  • Absolutely – cubicles drain the masculinity right out of you. You become domesticated and kingdom-dumb. We need periodic experiences of our masculinity or we’re toast.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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