My church printed this article I wrote, along with this photo, in our bulletin. For perspective, I attend Granada Presbyterian Church in Coral Gables, thus the "Granada Man" comment.
That’s me, New Years Day, 1981. My dad took me to the Miccosukee Indian Village. The whole family went, actually. But I don’t remember being with the family much that day. All I remember is being with my dad, the vast expanse of saw grass under a clear blue sky, men wrestling alligators, a beautiful young Miccosukee girl, and a knife for sale in the gift shop I wanted… badly.
This photo represents so many things to me. It represents those precious days of my youth; those rare occasions when we got out of the old neighborhood in the Miami suburbs to enjoy the natural treasures that surround us. We can miss them, these occasions, if we don’t take the time to experience them.
This photo also represents for me the heart of every man. The heart that cries out to be unleashed and experience this adventure called life. It is a heart that cannot be tamed. As I looked out over the saw grass, images of unexplored territory and trails to be carved came rushing in. There is danger at every turn. There are gators, panthers, bears… oh my. A person could die out there. Then I thought, cool.
So, here I am so many years later, still with so much left to explore. I find myself surrounded by other men; brothers with the same desire to explore and to conquer; to live. But it’s not just about cutting trails with machetes or catching a big fish to cook over an open fire. It’s about being the men God called us to be. We are not tamed, but we are His. What does that mean? It means we search Him out daily. We carve the trails, not because we are lone rangers on a selfish quest for vainglory; that is what small men do. We explore the wild and we explore it as brothers, because we desire to live out this adventure with Him, and for His glory; a quest we cannot seek on our own. Our hearts are calling out His name. This is at the heart of the men’s ministry we call, Granada Man.
And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name –Rich Mullins-