by Pastor Mark Fisher
March 21, 2017
Was it really a test of manhood? Was it simply madness? Was it the result of months of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) otherwise known as Cabin Fever? As a teen I knew it was manhood related.
In Northern Minnesota, "ice out" meant that the lakes no longer had ice on them and that spring had finally arrived after six months of winter. It also meant that the fishing opener was very near with the Walleye spawning, resulting in very hungry fish. But for some of us foolhardy ones it also meant going for a dip in the lake. The question was "who would be the first in the lake"? And with that came bragging rights!
I especially remember one camping trip in early May when I was eighteen. My buddies and I were camping in the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness). It was the day before the fishing opener, and "ice out" had been the day before. With nothing better to do since we could not yet fish, we decided to prove our manhood, which equated to diving off a ten foot cliff into the ice cold lake. We had to prove our adolescent toughness to each other! I went first.
Well, that special swim took place in 1981. Through the years, God’s wisdom has taught me that true manhood does not come from my own exploits, but from knowing His Son Jesus Christ; knowing who He is, what He has done and what He is doing today. That is why the aged Apostle Peter affirmed, “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” 2 Peter 3:18. It is Jesus Christ who proved what true manhood is, it is Him I trust.
My scalp tightened and my head felt like exploding, my chest felt agonizingly constricted as I desperately gasped for air. My body felt the ice cold shock from head to toe!!! But I could now boast that I was first! Was it a test of manhood? Was it simply madness? Was it caused by SAD? Was it a combination of these? You’ll have to be the judge of that!