Sebastian Junger wrote a very compelling book called “War.” It chronicles the combat experiences of an American platoon in Afghanistan. The trust, camaraderie, service and sacrifice these men showed one another was so powerful and extraordinary that the platoon leader extended his combat tour for a second year despite the daily horrors of his first year. When Junger asked him how he could possibly return for more war, the young soldier said that he would not find powerful brotherhood like what he experienced in Afghanistan anywhere else.
It is easy to lock in our roles as fathers, mothers, and children. Most of us live within routines that cause us to say and do the same things over and over. We go to work or school at the same places, hang out with the same people, look at the same screens, and engage in the same activities. We get comfortable. This is not necessarily negative, but sometimes God wants to shake up our lives. Get us out of our comfort zones.
Jesus was extremely clear when He said, “Do not judge.” Judgments are opinions or evaluations seen through the particular lens and worldview of the one making them. Perhaps Jesus was trying to save us the pain and trauma of being evaluated by others who do not know our entire story. Even the most well intended parents cannot know exactly what thoughts and feelings pervade the every day lives of their kids. So Jesus tells us to forego making judgments.
“The times they are a changin’.” This famous song notes how events of the 1960s re-shaped America’s cultural landscape. Fervent change continues, creating a technologically focused electronic age far different from the post-Vietnam era of a young Bob Dylan.
Rising 14,409 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier towers so far above Seattle that a person can forecast the day’s weather by it. When the most glaciated peak in the entire continental U.S. is in clear view, the day holds pleasant temperatures and dry skies. If clouds obscure its lofty flanks, settle in for a typical Seattle day- drizzly and bone-chilling gray. In a similar way, Mt. Rainier offers those who would climb it unsurpassed opportunities to assess the human condition.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of a powerful lesson that hunger revealed about my sinful nature. I like food. A lot. Especially when I know I’ve earned it. For example, after a difficult workout or traveling in wilderness areas, I exhibit a strong desire to replenish the calories lost through exertion or exposure to the elements. Friends call it a compulsion. I call it a need.
What do 3000, 15, 9, and 18 have to do with Patagonia? This is not really a math question as much as it is a statement of performance. These four numbers highlight my son Brayden’s recent trip to the land of Patagonia in Argentina. They will always remind me of the amazing grit he showed throughout our time there. In this blog, I aim to remind others of the surprising strength and resilience that young people astonish us with.
Are you a “risk manager?” We don’t often hear that question bandied around at family reunions or pizza parties. But that doesn’t mean that we adults are not aware of the risks involved in our lives–in fact, risk is one of the driving concerns in our daily choices. We may not realize or acknowledge our attempts to manage risk, but we do it all the time. In this blog, I will examine how risk management can affect our choices and practices, especially in family vacations.