Learning to Take Adversity In Stride (Another Story About My Son's 'Rite of Passage')

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 13, 2011 0 comments

Recently, my oldest son (Who is 12 years old) and I returned from his “Rite of Passage” into manhood trip. We did many things up in northern Minnesota at Wilderness North.

One thing I was hoping to do with him and hopefully teach him while we were there was how to maneuver a canoe. When we went canoeing it was incredibly windy. The lake that is a part of the campground is not only very large but it also has a river basically running through it. I knew we were possibly in for a difficult time. If you’ve ever paddled in to the wind or paddled against the current of a river you know what I’m writing about.

I decided we should not only paddle against the current but against the wind so we wouldn’t be tired paddling back to where the canoes are kept. I also, let my son know that this would be very difficult but hopefully we could get up the river and go fishing near where the river enters the lake. I also let him know that we would try to canoe close to the shore. Yes, this would make our journey much longer but I figured this would be much easier than getting far from shore with the wind blowing us all over the lake.

Well, the trip was still very difficult. In order to not go back to where we came from we needed to put the canoe almost on shore. So we would rest while we held onto branches and even weeds to keep from going back to where we came from. We had to figure out where to paddle and when to take breaks. One area was really nice because the shore completely blocked the wind and it was so nice paddling with ease.

We knew the rest would only last a short time before we would get back into the wind and current. We made a plan of attack on how to get to the actual river. My son made the decisions of where to go and how we would get there. It was pretty great seeing my son make a plan and take this adversity we were facing in stride.

We finally got to the river opening only to find it blocked by a small dam. We couldn’t get to where we were so desperately trying to get to in order to fish. That was a little disappointing but we were blessed to not only see an amazing beaver house but also a perfect paw print made by one of the beavers in the mud of their house. It was very cool. We didn’t catch any fish to write home about that day but we both learned some valuable lessons.

I was able to see that my son really is becoming a man. He didn’t whine once about paddling or say it was too cold to be out there. It was also exciting for me to see him start to take initiative and think and plan and lead.

My son got to see how rewarding it was to do something difficult and be rewarded even though it wasn’t what either of us was hoping for. He was also rewarded two days later with some nice northern pike at the end of his fishing line. They are great fighters and just reeling one in is exhilarating.

Have you ever done something that was difficult but the reward was worth it?

Have you ever had to face adversity and there was no immediate pay off?

How did those things help you not only mature as a person but to mature in Christ?

We must be willing to be men and women of integrity in all that we do. When trials come, and they will come, is when all that “training” you were doing to prepare for the difficulties in life make it all worth it. Focus in on what Christ has in store for you and stop making excuses!

Philippians 3:7 – 14 ~ “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”