The Power of Shared Experiences

The Power of Shared Experiences

Men, are you taking time to be available for moments like these with your sons? Another cool post from Chris Jackson of Iron Works Men’s Ministry:

By Chris Jackson / July 14, 2017

For several years, when the boys were younger, we would participate in a Father/Son adventure camp sponsored by the Alabama Baptist. It was great one-on-one time with the boys.

I have so many great memories from these trips. At the top of our lungs we would sing crazy camp songs like Boom-chicka-Boom and Herman the Worm. We’d scale climbing walls and eat ice cream donated by ‘the ice-cream man.’ We would have sword fights with pool noodles, but most especially the boys would meet missionaries and learn about Jesus.

Most importantly, everything was experienced together, as father and son.

One year, having two boys old enough to go, I took one and my brother took another. During our swim time at the lake the four of us started rocking a huge ‘iceberg’ inflatable. Back and forth we rocked until it eventually flipped! For some reason, the next year, this particular inflatable wasn’t there anymore. I’m sure we had nothing to do with that.

Our last night would always wrap up with a cross walk. The boys would work together to carry a full-sized, heavy wooden cross up a long, steep hill. Obviously, this was to symbolize Jesus carrying his cross. A passel of 10 year old boys would carry the heavy cross to the top where it would be erected and someone would present the gospel.

One trip was just Ben and me. Ben is my second son and he loved this camp! It wasn’t our first trip, but it was a special one. Ben was/is full of life! People were drawn to him like a moth to a flame. The teenage counselors all loved Ben. They would tell him that he was going to become a counselor one day.

This year, Ben, along with the other boys, carried the cross up the hill. Someone then shared the gospel and explained that the cross showed how much Jesus loved us. He loved us so much that he gave his life. 

Afterwards, the dads were encouraged to find a quiet place to talk with our sons about what we just heard. It was always a special time. This year, as the time came to a close, Ben eased away from me. As we headed back to our cabin to find a quiet place, Ben was obviously trying to keep his distance.

I caught up with him close to the stairs to our cabin. As he turned, his face was wet with tears. He didn’t want me to see his tears as he started wiping them away with the back of his hand. Was he sick? Was he hurt? Did something bite him?

When I asked, he could barely squeak out, “He just loves me so much!” His little heart was broken by the love that Jesus had for him.

I hugged him, Yes, Ben, Jesus does love us so much. My heart was full from witnessing the tenderness of his heart. At the same time I am a little jealous for such a heart. The lump in my throat grows even today as I think back to that night.

Oh God, for my heart to be broken over the love Christ has for me and that I would never forget!

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Mike Young
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