Rite of Passage
I want to share with fathers something that has been very meaningful to both myself and my son Matt. Many of us think that as we watch our boys grow we will have plenty of time to do all the things we want to do with them. How fast time passes!
I joined Christian Service Brigade in the fall of 1997. I had been encouraged by a pastor at a summer retreat. He asked, “where do you see yourself in your church? Are you a doer or just sit in pews on Sunday mornings? When I returned to church, the leader of Brigade stated his work was preventing him from continuing and he needed someone to take the leadership. I felt this was the Lord showing me where I needed to be.
Matt was nine years at the time and I liked what Christian Service Brigade stood for so I decided to be more involved and encouraged other fathers to join me.
At one of the first training meetings I attended, there was a gentleman that spoke about a book titled “Raising a Modern Day Knight” by Robert Lewis. The book described the way young boys were raised hundreds of years ago and described a set of moral codes that young boys needed to follow in order to become a knight. A knight stood many things. He was trustworthy, kind, honorable, and a servant leader just to name a few. I completed reading the book and placed it on the bookshelf.
Matthew completed Stockade and achieved all of the Blockhouses and Stations and completed all the achievements and responsibilities in Battalion. He would later pursue and earn the Herald of Christ (#724).
Through the years I was witnessing the Lord working in Matthews life. And in a short time he would be leaving home and attending Liberty University. It occurred to me that I had forgotten about the book I had read so many years ago and now my son was getting ready to leave home. I needed more time.
It was Matt’s last year in high school and I needed read the book again. It described a ceremony called the Rite of Passage. There were several different types of ceremonies but one in particular was of a path that a boy would walk through and be approached by godly men in his life. I wanted to do that. So, I wrote a letter to nine men who had impacted Matt’s life in a godly way. I asked each one if they would like to be a part of this ceremony and then asked them to choose a code of conduct they would like to share with Matt. I received all the letters back with each man saying it would be an honor to be a part of the ceremony. The amazing thing was each one picked a different conduct! Not one was the same!
My next part was to find a location where this could take place. I went to several parks and then I went the park located right next to the school he attended. I walked it three times, each time realizing this was the right place. I already had in my mind where each man would be placed on the path. The sandy path was about an 1/8 mile loop that came back to the original spot. I was excited about this place and what would happen in a few short weeks.
The next step was to find something to present Matt with after the walk through the path. I went to a jewelry store and ordered a ring that would symbolize the meaning of becoming a man.
The time had come. Matt was just about to graduate from high school and had been going through challenging times. If ever there was a time that was not going well for him, it was this time. I needed prayer and guidance from the Lord and now was the time to do this.
I received a call from the youth pastor who was also one of men in the passage. He told me that he would take Matt and keep him busy until all the men were set in place. The weather was in our favor and I positioned them in their locations. I was now ready for the right of passage to begin. After I made the call and I knew Matt was on his way, I just looked up with thanksgiving and amazement of God’s grace that this could take place.
The car pulled up outside the park. I watched Matt get out of the car and start to walk down the path. From where I was standing, I could only see the first man. Matt came to a complete stop and just stared. The first man was his Biology teacher who was in a wheelchair. You can see why he was so surprised. I watched Matt sitting in front of him for 10 minutes, then he got up. Before he left, he was asked, “Matt are you ready to become a man? Matt replied, “I think so”. He told Matt to “take this flashlight and stay on the narrow path”. I could see him walking away and knew he must be thinking what is this all about? Several hundred yards further he came across a man sitting in the middle of the path with his back to him. As he approached the man, he saw that it was his uncle and he told Matt to have a seat. After speaking, he asked “Matt, are you ready to become a man”? The answer this time was a definite YES. Stay on the narrow path. This process went with each leader.
The men met me back at the beginning of the walk after they finished with Matt. It was getting dark now and we observed two flashlights coming down the path. I thought it was best to have the man that led my brother and I to the Lord, to be the last one to walk the path with Matt. We gathered around the fire and I presented Matt with the ring and then prayed giving our Lord and Savior the glory for what He had done for us. We then went to a restaurant and a wonderful dinner. The night was complete and all the preparation was behind.
Matt sent with a nine page letter to each leader sharing what he experienced through his walk on the narrow path. He has shared with many people about this life changing experience.
I wanted to share this with dads because time passes so quickly. Don’t miss the opportunity to do this for your son. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about this. Feel free to contact me (email@example.com). You will truly be blessed and so will your son.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22: 6
Sorry, there were no replies found.