early American Indians had a unique practice of training young
braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, after learning
hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test.
He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone.
Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family
and the tribe. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken
several miles away.

When he took off the
blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods and he was
terrified! Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready
to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the
first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking
around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path.
Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man
standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was his
father. He had been there all night long.

Originally from Our Daily Bread, this
story is found online at:

Brian Hedges is Senior Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles, MI.

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