Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rite Of Passage

Last Sunday I was invited to speak at Hays High’s Baccalaureate service preceding graduation ceremonies. I recall that when my son Devin graduated in 2008 I was able to share at his Baccalaureate the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage. 

According to Cherokee legend the boy’s father takes him deep into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone for the night. 

The boy is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the perils of the night, the boy is recognized by the tribe as a man.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. As he sits upon the stump he can hear all kinds of noises in the forest. His mind imagines that wild beasts must surely be all around him. He fears that maybe even some human might jump him and do him harm.
Throughout the night the whistle of the wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but the boy sat stoically, never removing the blindfold.   It would be the only way he could prove that he was a man.  

Finally, after a horrifyingly long night the sun finally appeared and the boy removed his blindfold.  

It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been there all night protecting his son from harm. 

This story reminds us as Christians that we too are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is sitting on the stump beside us watching over us.  When trouble comes, all we have to do is remember that He is with us always.

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

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