General Identity Life Skills

It’s Time for a Real Adventure

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Demographically, warrior-aged men 18-30 years old, are often the least likely to attend church.  There are exceptions and I know many who are actively involved in their local church.

But that’s not the point.  

Around 90% of warrior-aged men are as far from church as possible.  Some hate it with a vengeance. They may have grown up in a church and we’re either personally hurt or saw loved ones wounded. 

Others hate the church because they refuse to acknowledge God in any form or doctrine.

Young guys who grew up in the church may enter their college years only to ignore anything Jesus. Not that they are anti-Jesus, they have simply disassociated their new experiences from Him.

It is natural for a young man to launch out on his own in this season of life.  God placed it in a man to leave his parents and discover life no longer as a boy but as an emerging man. 

1 Corinthians 13 says 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 

Whether you are madly in love with Jesus or refuse to darken the door of anything remotely Jesus, your innate hunger for adventure and pushing the limits as a man is God-given. 

Seek adventure. 

At Mentoring Warriors we sponsor a summer Colorado Mountain Man Adventure trip. Jeeping over the Continental Divide. Hiking a 14er mountain. Whitewater rafting. Things to test your tenacity and brawn.  Plus fire pit times to challenge another kind of adventure; exploring the depths of your soul with God.

My warrior years found me at the top of the second-highest mountain in Austria. Grossvenediger loomed over 12,000 feet. My German buddy and I ascended almost 9000 feet in one climb. Crossing glaciers with crevasses large enough to swallow a bus, tied to each other with ropes and geared with picks and crampons. All to prevent a tragic alpine fall.

On one glacier hike my feet slipped and I slid feet first on my stomach toward a thousand-foot cliff.  Thank God for a boulder six feet from the edge that stopped my slide!

Traveling across Europe alone I crashed in a hostel in Liechtenstein. Venturing to Zermatt Switzerland and staying at the Riffelhaus near the Matterhorn was a memorable experience.  Living in a 15th-century castle in the Austrian Alps for three months. Ascending a total of 40,000 feet of mountains that summer. It was epic.

Others have ridden a bull, bungee jumped off a bridge and raced a car on a dirt track. One Mentoring Warrior from Minnesota does paramotoring. Follow this link to his article and video.

There are other soul adventures warrior guys have taken. Sleeping outdoors watching countless shooting stars, contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Holding the hand of a beautiful woman.  Kissing her. Bending the knee to propose!

Others experienced sex for the first time. The passion of raging hormones. The willingness to go to extremes to win her heart.

By the time I turned 30, I left home, graduated from university, lived in Europe for the second time in my life, got my first real job, became a licensed architect, bought my bachelor house, pursued an awesome woman in Canada, married her, and gladly lost my virginity with her on our honeymoon! 

So much happened!  Some super cool stuff!

You have your list.  Perhaps it’s still in the making. Manhood memories that impact the trajectory of your life.

My warrior years also had heartache, tough times, setbacks, disappointment, depression, and doubt. Stupid choices. Extreme loneliness. Tears. I hated the very years I also loved.

One thing that was the only real constant for those dozen or so warrior years was Jesus. (He still is.)  I’m not sure if I had it figured out but regardless of where I was or what I was doing, I seemed to connect the dots between my experiences and the presence of God.  

Sliding helplessly down that glacier, I sensed God had not turned his face away from me but was very present even if it might have been my last moment of life.  

It’s the same way I felt when about nine years ago I almost drowned in Stratton Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario Canada.  

As I sank helplessly into the lake and the water hit my lips I thought,

“This is it.”

My life flashed before me once again.  And I sensed God’s presence.

Before you think tragedy is the only time a guy can experience God, the reality is in EVERY moment God is present.

One of the deeper signs a young man is maturing is connecting his every moment to the presence of God.

Yes. Be adventurous.

Yes. Be contemplative.

Yes. Live every moment fully alive.

Just do it intimately connected to Jesus. There is no sacred/secular split in life. 

One never truly experiences life without the presence of Jesus.

Inviting Jesus into your soul is not religious, it’s how he intended life to be lived.

You are one of three types of guys:

  1. Attends church because it’s what “good” guys do.
  2. Pursues an ever-deepening walk with Jesus in all your experiences.
  3. Jesus is in a box where you pull him out whenever a crisis hits.

It’s one of those three. Only one is the true adventure.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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