Oct
22
2009

God in the Wild

Jeubs HuntingWe returned yesterday from our yearly elk hunt. We’ve enjoyed success in 2008 and 2007, the two years I began bringing my children hunting. I have four children of age to hunt, which caused me to seek my dad’s help mentoring them in the woods. Needless to say, we had not one opportunity to harvest an animal. To make matters worse, my dad (who traveled all the way from Minnesota) got altitude sickness and had to return home on the second day of the hunt. More bad news: Franklin Springs Media pulled out of the filming opportunity for financial reasons, and now I’m kind of glad. The anticipation of one of the youth taking down an elk for the camera was let down, but…

We had the time of our lives. Follow with me on this. I’m not just spinning a bad experience into a good one. We seriously had a mountain-top experience, one that most men never have in their entire life.

Sitting with my kids all day long in the Colorado mountains was absolutely precious. Micah went hunting with Grandpa, I brought Lydia and Isaiah, and Cynthia stayed close to camp on her own. The weather was about 60 degrees and sunny–way too hot for hunting, but incredibly comfortable for hiking through the mountains and enjoying one another. Watching the 17, 15, 13 and 12 year old work hard and patiently at completing the hunt was a joy for a father to observe. And to see them enjoy themselves despite a successful harvest, I couldn’t be more proud.

Fellowship was impeccable, probably the best in all my years of hunting. Two other dads brought children: Ron Stauffer (with Rachel, Reuben and Ryan) and David Adair (with son, Matthew). Camping at 11,000 feet requires a lot of work–team work, the kind you expect from mature adults. The teens never complained when one of the dads gave an order. They worked hard, always contributing to the betterment of the camp–cleaning this, preparing that, getting odd jobs done that needed to get done. The hard work paid off with the most open and vulnerable joy around the campfire, best friends singing and laughing in the moonless nights of the Colorado mountains. Perhaps the joyful noise at the camp drove all the elk away.

Ron and David are best friends of mine. Our conversations were open and honest, the kind that only come in the most welcome environments. We shared our struggles with business, cast visions for our futures, and encouraged one another as men. It was magical; tough to put it to words. We “carried each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) and “sharpened one another” (Proverbs 27:17), I suppose as men should do more often, much more often.

My dad wisely observed, “Being out here brings you closer to God.” This was one of the first things he said as we began the 2.5 hour drive down the mountain to meet my mom in Salida, a halfway point to get Dad home. It started a conversation that dug deep into our 39-year relationship, bringing up issues that are much too intimate to share on a blog. Though the depth is unique to my dad and me, it is in a sense universal. Every father and son have issues to work through, even at ages 66 and 39. Don’t get me wrong, my dad and I have a great relationship, but 2.5 hours of windshield time was exactly what the both of us needed.

God wanted us to be in the wild for five days, set apart from the same-old routines of everyday living. We fool ourselves to think reality is in our sterile, monotonous, scheduled lives. Reality–sober, unadulterated, pure reality–shows itself when tromping through the woods for several days seeking to fill a DOW game tag. I hate to admit it, but in his divine wisdom, God kept the elk from getting in the way, getting in the way of finding Him, finding ourselves, finding reality.

Moses returned from Mt. Horeb, the “mountain of God,” with a renewed strength in his purpose (Exodus 3-4). I can relate, and it is one reason I return every year for our family elk hunt. We’ll have other years to enjoy a harvest. This year was a pruning year. I not only feel refreshed, I am refreshed. A dozen hunters returned from the mountains walking with God, ready and willing to keep that walk going into their lives.

The Jeubs, Stauffers and Adairs: Elk Camp 2009.

The Jeubs, Stauffers and Adairs: Elk Camp 2009.

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About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Tisha Deutsch

    Beautiful! Inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

  • Doris Bissell

    I PRINTED THIS WRITE UP TO READ LATER ON & TO SHARE WITH OTHERS I JUST ADMIRE YOUR GREAT FAMILY & SURE HOPE THE KIDS WHO WENT ON THIS HUNT HAD A GREAT TIME WITH THEIR DAD!
    HOW IS THE YOUNGEST JEUB #15 DOING THESE DAYS? AND HOW CAN ONE GET A DVD OF YOUR FAMILY THAT WAS FILMED BY TLC & DISCOVERY CHANNELS? AND WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO SHOW YOUR FAMILY AGAIN & THE HEPPNERS? AND HOW CAN ONE GET A HOLD OF THE JOHN & BETH SENTMAN SR FAMILY & ETC!
    GOD LOVE YOU ALL & CONTINUE DOING A GREAT JOB THAT YOU GUYS ARE DOING YOUR KIDS LOOK SO HAPPY, WELL FED & CONTENTED & WELL KNOWLEDGABLE! DORIS BISSELL AN AVID FAN!

  • Rachiel Morgan

    Wow -great story. Our whole family enjoyed it. I have the same questions as Doris-when will we see more of you guys? Your family is our inspiration!

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

    We just received word that we will be on WETV (Women’s Entertainment on CBS) on December 1, 2009. They focus a LOT on Wendy’s mothering all these children.

  • http://www.easysite.com/quinnfamilyof6 Kristy Quinn

    I’m sorry to hear that you guys didn’t get any elk but it was great to hear how you all had such a blessed time with God and each other. It’s amazing how God works.

  • http://simplelivingak.wordpress.com/ Jason and Anna

    Sounds like a great trip.
    Thanks for sharing. God Bless!