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In Search of a Sage

June 22, 2010

Last week was a wonderful life experience for me. Eleven guys donated their time, money and efforts to fulfill a cause greater than their own life. Our mission was to put siding on a two story cabin that housed the staff of college-aged men and women who have dedicated a summer to serving families at a Christian retreat facility called Sky Corral Ranch. The mission of this camp is to strengthen families by engaging fathers with their families. Everyone needs a father in their life.

One of the men with us on this mission was a 72 year old man that I admire named Charles Rogers. On the trip he was affectionately known as Mr. Charles. Mr. Charles is a humble, generous and loving man; his calmness and patience project into your being when you are in his presence. He is a sage! Webster defines a sage as a mature or venerable man of sound judgment. That describes Mr. Charles perfectly, but you need to throw in humility, patience, and a zest for the Lord. Where are these men that all of us so desperately need?

This morning I talked to a good friend(Jeff Andrechyn) of mine, who loves to write, about a wonderful blog he wrote about a man named Pete who fathered him during his training as an airline pilot. The caption below is from his newsletter:

“Pete and I became friends from the first moment we met and I think early on he decided he was going to teach me everything he knew. When it came time for me to upgrade to Captain, Pete went to instructor’s school so he could be my instructor in the simulator. Pete went ahead of me and sure enough I was his first student.”

Sages are an important part of the puzzle in the development of real men. Without them we are forced to learn our life lessons on our own; sages help us interpret our lives. It was amazing how many questions Mr. Charles answered for the other ten of us during the week. If I had a dollar for every time I heard his named called I would be a millionaire, and he answered each one with a calm demenaor that beckoned you into the safety, wisdom and love of his personal realm. I just wanted to be near him, and Jeff said the same thing about his friend Pete. You see the true test of a sage is someone who doesn’t recognize he is one, but everyone around him knows it. He draws you closer to God; a true sage walks with the Holy Spirit guiding each step of his days.

Jeff and I continued our conversation about how great it is to have men like Pete and Charles father us in our journey. The question I asked Jeff was “I wonder how many men don’t have sages in their lives?” After our conversation, Jeff forwarded an email response from a man named Chester who responded to his newsletter about Pete. Here is his response.

“I am saddened that I don’t have someone that goes before me. Someone to encourage me in my pursuit, to train me, to give me the inside scoop. Someone to go to that is an absolute expert – who is willing to share knowledge with me without charging me for it. I never have. I’ve always been fatherless.

It is not just a frustration that I have, but it is shared among my band of brothers – all of us young men in our twenties, wondering where all the older men of God are. Most of us are fatherless or have had fathers with little influence in our lives. None of us have quality mentors. In our churches, few men care to take the time to mentor – in disobedience to God’s word on the topic.”

The real problem is we are all still in need of fathering! If you know older men in your church send this document to them. We still need guidance, support and love. They need to wake up and become the sages we need, like Charles and Pete. After the mission trip, I drove Mr. Charles to the airport the next morning. We laughed about the week, and recounted the number of times God showed up to father us through each other. As he got out of the truck, he looked back at me and said, “I love you, son”. My tears tell me that I still need to hear these words; we will always need the love of our Father! Thanks for everything Mr. Charles. Thanks God for using this week to Father me!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynn permalink
    June 22, 2010 5:07 pm

    I found a father last week.
    I have never had a father say to me
    “I Love You.”. Mr. Charles did.

    I love you Mr. Charles.

  2. Chester permalink
    June 23, 2010 11:08 am

    I appreciated this article. I am the fella that was quoted towards the end there. My prayer is that more men – older, wiser men would realize that the length and breadth of their experience has incredible value to those of us who are younger.

    I feel as if I missed out on the simplest of instruction: how to shave, wash your car without scratching the paint, tie a tie, change your oil – all things I learned how to do from the Internet. Most of all though, I missed out on the affirmation and genuine masculinity that is bestowed by these small exchanges between and older and a younger man.

    My heart pains at times when I think of the mistakes I’ve made simply through trial and error with women, family, work and friendships. These lessons are far more important than what the best non-wrinkle khakis are. God bless you and the efforts of your ministry. Let me know if you ever want to start a “Man Camp” – I’m in.

    From one Brother to another – Chester

    • June 24, 2010 8:26 am

      Thanks for the thoughts Chester. We need the older generations to step up and be the men we need them to be.

  3. Jeff Andrechyn permalink
    June 23, 2010 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the response Chester. I love your ending “I’m in” because it is one of your standout qualities. You are in with both feet!

    Your writing awakes us Chester, your passion on this subject is palpable. Your desire is to be Fathered is a good one. And that leads me to say that your journey has lead you to a good place and anyone who observers your life can see how Jesus has stepped in (with both feet) to Father you.

    I would be proud to call you my son… so I can only imagine what Father says about you.

    Jesus is so proud of you He has given you a wife (to be). I will do everything I can to be in the church that day with you 🙂

    Jeff Andrechyn

  4. Chris Ingram permalink
    July 26, 2010 5:17 pm

    Mr. Charles or “Bubba” as I like to call him is my brother and I am blessed because of it!!!!
    I am so glad that you all were blessed by him too. He and my sister in law Beth are two of God’s
    greatest blessings in my life.

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