Big Sky Backpacking

Ben and Jeff in Bob Marshall Wilderness Montana

One of the great privileges a father has is to give his blessing to his son or daughter.  To memorialize the fact that your love for them is beyond circumstances or performance. To celebrate their practice of making good choices that follow the values that you have taught and modeled for them.  To recognize their transition from a boy to a man and the responsibility that comes with that transition.  To offer grace and encouragement for the times that they fail and the knowledge that you are there to help them anytime that is needed.  This is one of the great privileges of being a dad to your kids and I hope that I have communicated all of these truths consistently during their growing up.  I have planned for each child to carve out time to intentionally mark this event so that they will have a specific memory to point to that was the time that they were celebrated for the man or woman they have come to be.

Daniel shows us the way

Ben loves the outdoors and enjoys anything that involves exploration and engagement with nature.  To celebrate this occasion with Ben, I called my close college friend who pastors a church in Kalispell Montana and we planned a 3 day father son hike and fly fishing trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness National Park in Montana.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was spectacular.  The stars on a clear Montana night and the unspoiled wilderness testify of the God that loves us and created us for His glory.  Other than the game warden that arrived on horseback while we were fishing with licenses back in the car a 2 day hike in from the trailhead, we did not see another human.  We didn’t catch many fish, but that was not because the fish were not there.  The memories of hiking on blistered feet and bruised shoulders will fade and we will be left with an experience that we can share the rest of our lives.  What a privilege it was to me to introduce Ben to my friend Daniel and to share this time with our sons together.  I am proud of the man that Ben is becoming and look forward to being his father, friend, mentor and encourager in the decades to come.

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