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Men recovering their lost masculinity

By 9:40 a.m today, I should be in Colorado. Seven of us guys are going on a three-day hike that starts tomorrow through the Lost Creek Wilderness.   It’s supposed to be spectacular scenery. The trail winds in and out of boulders the size of houses (photo at right is one and is a metaphor …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
By 9:40 a.m today, I should be in Colorado. Seven of us guys are going on a three-day hike that starts tomorrow through the Lost Creek Wilderness.
It’s supposed to be spectacular scenery. The trail winds in and out of boulders the size of houses (photo at right is one and is a metaphor for what I discuss below) and along the creek that at times is flowing and at times goes underground.
It’s remote, so don’t look for any twittering from me.
The name “Lost Creek” is somewhat appropriate for the theme of our hike. Almost all of us can relate at some level to feeling like society wants to squelch our masculinity. As men, we were born with a certain wildness in us. The Grimms’ fairy tale Iron John illustrates our fight to deal with something inside us that at times feels like a raging river. And apologies to you women: If you’re not a man, you can’t really know what I’m talking about.
We live in a culture that creates little space for men to work through what it means to be a man. We get plunged into careers at 22 years of age, are chained to desks at work and made to sit in pews at church. Where do we get to express the Braveheart stuff that churns down deep? It gets suppressed and too many men find themselves dying inside. It becomes a lost creek. It goes underground somewhere in a rocky wilderness.
And the sad thing is that not only do men lose touch with themselves, but women lose out in the process too. As men fail to be men, women often have to step in and fill the gap, doing stuff they were never intended to do. They even may come to resent the way men have abdicated their responsibility. It becomes a vicious circle.
Scott Molgard went on a World Race a couple of years ago and has been wrestling through the issue (hear his angst in this blog from the race). As a power lifter and a beer drinker with a surprising tender side, I’ve asked him to share a few of his thoughts on the matter – here they are. Scott’s provocative on this subject – I recommend you read his take on the issue here and here.
And I’ll let you know when we return from the hike what God helped us figure out.

Comments (10)

  • I was a little lost tonight, wandering a bit in the abyss of comfort. And then I hung out with my dad and started reading Adam’s Return. And then I found this. And then I read Scott’s blog. Seth and Scott (and Richard) thank you, I am filled now. And drained. Tonight, I feel like I can’t wait to die (the 1st time; the 2nd time I’m not concerned about). Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.

    I hope you get a taste of what you’re looking for on Lost Creek.

  • Hold the fort Seth,
    You are a wonderful person! It is not about the sex, it is the quality of the person. In the American culture, we are so worried about the roles. After 25+ years with the same man, Stew and I have learned to share ideas, and to build on the common goal of the love of Christ one step at a time. I have been to lost creek as a teen to win a national championship…..my soon to be husband waited at home for me to have my 15 minutes of fame and to come home 25 years later as a daughter of Christ. We all grow tired of leading the pack and I pray that you will come home refreshed! I did. Thanks to you.

    Blessing to you my friend and peace on your journey……..

  • Seth,

    Have fun.

    The most intense journeys and treks are the ones through the crevices of our own hearts.

    By the way, a good book on what has become this timely topic is: “A Dangerous Book for Boys”.

    I know the adventures my son Sam and I have in life were important particularly in an estrogen filled home. 🙂


  • don’t you hate backpacking? hope you have fun, glad you always told us to look for guys who know things about being masculine. love you.

  • Butch,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve read the reviews and it looks great. I’m going to buy it.


  • For a moment there I thought this was a direct quote from “Wild at Heart” or that I was reading John Elderidge’s site in the feed reader. I may not be a guy but I am surrounded by men who are struggling with this very thing and am always glad when God draws them towards true masculinity and the peace that comes with it. Go you!

  • I agree that it can be really beneficial for guys to “get out”. I love Etheridge’s book, Wild at Heart.

    I’ve worked at the Deer Creek Christian Camp before which is only a few miles from the north side of the Lost Creek Wilderness (Bailey, CO). That’s a beautiful area. I find the altitude to be annoying though, I think it’s about 8,000 feet. Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je is (short for I’d Rather Have Jesus) is located right outside Bailey too.

  • Joe,
    Please go to the prayer button so that the team can pray for you. You are not alone and will remain always in our thoughts and prayers.

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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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