March forth

Maasai guys overlooking Mt Suswa caldera

This weekend (March 4, specifically) marks Avery’s 10th birthday. Tomorrow he and I will head out in our Land Cruiser, to the floor of the great Rift Valley, and then ascend a dormant volcano, Mt Suswa, where we will go caving and climbing and exploring and camping and sit around the fire cooking meat and talking man-to-little-man.

I took a similar trip with Robbie when he turned 10, which ended in a great adventure and near disastrous consequences involving a cape buffalo and a fight with a baboon.

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on what it means to be a man. To be a dad. To be a husband. To be a follower of Christ. How I stumble all the time trying to be good at all these things, but how my identity is wrapped up in all of them. And I pray for my sons to find their identity in these things someday as well.

Which is why I like having adventures with my sons. When Robbie and I climbed 16,000 ft Mt Kenya in December, we did it for the adventure, for the lessons in persevering through something difficult, and for the discipleship time we could have when not catching our breath or passing out from exhaustion.

I hope to have a small bit of that this weekend with Avery. To laugh and sweat and get dirty and smoky and talk about the manhood that he is rapidly approaching and that his brother is awkwardly experiencing. About what it means to respect and love his sister, respect and love his mother. About what it means to find your identity in being a son of the king of the universe.

A lesson I’m still learning, day by day…


  1. Hi, Andy – Nathan Clayton’s Mom here! I enjoy keeping up with you guys and your adventures. Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this and pray that you and your 10-year-old will have a great time together – that it will be an inspirational and enriching experience for you both; a time you will both remember always.

  2. Andy, I admire your maturity in life & the Lord. Keep learning, teaching and loving… God & man (& boy).


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