“When did you first feel like a man?” is the poignant question asked by Scott Francis, a youth minister, in the article I have linked here. For Scott, the answer is clear, it was the day he tracked and killed a moose all on his own. Driving the family grain truck was the right of passage for another farm boy in the story. If you don’t hunt and you don’t live on a farm you might be left wondering, ‘where is my moose?’ Or more directly, ‘when will I know I am a man?’
Rights of passage all bear a certain signature, it is the day a boy does something reserved for the men of his society. For too many boys the rite of passage has become sex. That’s stupid, meaningless and dangerous. Any 14 year old can have sex just like any 14 year old can climb in a truck, start it and put it in gear. You don’t get to claim manhood just because you completed an act, the act has to have meaning. “One of my farmer friends remembers the day he drove the grain truck right beside the combine and took the grain while both vehicles were still moving. It's a daunting task for a 14-year-old. His grandfather was riding with him and said, "well that's it…anyone who can take grain on the fly is a man in my books!" This is more than a boys first time behind the wheel, it is a boy seizing the reins of the family business, stepping up to the responsibility of the men of his family and handling it like the men of his family.
Scott’s article leaves many questions unanswered but one of the things I like about it and want to share with any boys and young men that might be reading is this: adult men in our modern society are aware of your need to be developed into men, we are thinking about it, we are acting on it and we want you to succeed because we need you. Keep up the hard work and become good men of courage.