Club Moss And The Male Mask

Club Moss in BWCA

My trip to northern Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area with the men of Resurrection Lutheran Church is only a few weeks away. As posted earlier, we have been reading Andrew Rogness’ Crossing Boundary Waters. I wrote about his early encounter with a outlet stream and later on his thunderstorm adventure. Today it is his simple encounter with a small green plant.

Near the end of his four-day solo canoe trip, Rogness stops to pick blueberries and then lays down to observe a small patch of forest floor. His attention is captivated by a club moss, which has an asexual reproduction.  The spores of the club moss contains both the female egg and male sperm.  As he holds a small piece of moss in his hand his mind contemplates deeper issues.

I stretch forward and put my face close to the granite, then roll over into the midst of the club moss.

I came to the Boundary Waters because I felt disjointed and out of control. Was this not a dilemma brought on, in part, by an unhealthy assumptions on my part—that I, as a male, must always be in control and have things together, that I must always achieve, compete, and conquer? Yet this is no more possible for males than for females. As a matter of fact, what’s wrong with having moments of life that are a bit out of control and disjointed, assuming they do not damage anyone? And nothing is wrong with having moments of achievement, competition, and success.

My illusion has been that I, as a male, should at all times have a clear understanding of my purpose, a disciplined strategy for accomplishing that purpose and tangible success stories that establish my worth. Trapped in a game I did not consciously choose, I look at the scoreboard. It is halftime. Soon the game will be over, and my score is not high enough.

I came here to start a new game plan, to regain control of a game that was getting out of hand. The rules—in fact, the whole game—were blown away by a connection with creation, by crossing boundary waters (p. 106).

Rogness had a journey of acceptance and redemption. He rediscovered his value as child of the Creator. Sometimes we need to leave the familiar in order to discover the profound reality of God. In a way, Rogness describes a spiritual pilgrimage. He has made the journey to a holy land other than Jerusalem or Rome. In a small piece of club moss he has discovered the infinite wonder of God’s grace.

I am praying that our men’s trip to the BWCA might have a similar spiritual impact on each of us.

Have you had moments of grace, when God has grabbed hold of your life in a fresh way?

Lord Jesus, be Lord today in my life.

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