“To recover his heart’s desire a man needs to get away from the noise and distraction of his daily life for time with his own soul. He needs to head into the wilderness…” – John Eldridge

Having been raised in a family with a deep rooted passion for adventure, I have subconsciously, but thankfully manifested the same spirit of adventure, and desire to travel in my own life as my parents have. Through my traveling experiences I have gained a wider perspective on how people in different parts of the world live, and operate in their daily lives. One observation I have noticed everywhere I’ve been, is that what may seem extremely foreign to one man, may be so completely natural or “normal” to another man. This most often comes from cultural differences, or the simple fact that we as humans are all raised different from one another. It does not take a scholar to state the fact that there are a variety of differences cross-culture, or even within for that matter. That being said, if we are so different, why does God call us to do life together? And Why is it important for us to do so?

Despite all of the differences humans have, what I would like to point out (without the intention of forming a cultural debate) is that we all share a long list of intrinsic similarities with one another. We are all social. We convey emotions, have fears, enjoy food, prefer happiness, express love…etc. the list goes on. My point here is that no matter where you come from, however you may have been raised…we all share something in common. Praise God!

This past weekend, the men of EPIC Commission went up north to Pine Trail Camp for the annual guys retreat. Needless to say, it was full of adventure, and it birthed a handful of incredible memories. These testosterone filled moments ultimately brought us closer together and unified us as a Brotherhood. We managed to flip logs, throw rocks, sink boats, and consume a months worth of calories while on the day and half retreat. Without the internet, without phones, and without distractions we were able to fully enjoy our time together being men in the wilderness. We poured out our hearts, exposed our weaknesses, built eachother up, and learned what it takes to be a man of God. Although we are all vastly different people in many ways, we share our biggest similarity with one another…our love & passion for Christ. I’m so thankful that God calls us to do life together! (Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.) I already love what the brotherhood is like this year!  Being slightly over one month into EC, God has already used it to strengthen faith, and form unbreakable friendships, and I can not wait to see where it goes from here!

Although we are all different, there is a purpose and reason to it. God created similarities and differences to be used to enhance one another, and He has given you a unique gift that you can bring to the lives of others! So build up your brotherhood. Not only for your own sake, but for the sake of others & the sake of His Kingdom! – Love the Brotherhood!

Eric Stelzer

2nd Year Student Blogger