What does that really mean, "Introduce the Father to a fatherless world", being that it is the core mission of Outboundlife. The answer to this question is the overarching premise for what we believe, therefore, what we attempt to do. Let's peel it down to the basics to see a better picture of the foundational concept.
Imagine an acorn in your hand. Now, consider what it will be? We know that it has the potential to become by looking at the source it originated from, an oak tree. We could properly say the father, or source, of the seed. This source is a strong tree can thrive in environmentally tough environments. The seed in and of itself only has potential to be, but cannot become anything without being planted in moist soil (mother of the seed). The moist soil is unproductive and barren without the potency of the seed. Once the elements are mixed, life is birthed and growth begins. If the growth is allowed its full course, it will grow around or through whatever impedes its process influencing the environment. (Have you ever had weeds break up your asphalt driveway?) At the end, the growth will take shape and identification from the characteristics of its source. Acorn's have the POTENTIAL to become oaks. An acorn, planted and starting to grow, IS in fact an oak in an immature state. Small and vulnerable, but adaptable and flexible.
The nurture and nutrition, mothering, is critical at the beginning of the process as the tree burrows its main root, the tap root, deep into the soil. The tap root becomes an anchor and the launching point for the mass horizontal root system to expand. This is the most critical point for the tree. If their is too much surface water or over nurture of the new infant oak, the tap root will cease to grow. In urban areas, many new planted oaks will not grow tap roots, instead relying on surface environmental care. In other cases, where the seed has been started early to quicken the growth the roots, the tree often becomes twisted and disfigured. Most of these cases were to plant seeds for the benefit of the planter, not for the benefit of the seed. Either of these cases will force the tree to rely on the this easy source of surface supply and not the deep into the intended supply of its original design. Without the depth of the tap root the trees future will be that of instability requiring ongoing assistance for survival. Overall branch production will diminish and the strength to withstand environmental forces will be non-existent.
Once the tree tap root grows deep enough, its massive expanse of horizontal roots expand creating a network wider than the surface branches. Nourishment is now provided by the decaying leaves it produces. The oak searches with its roots the depths, modeling its source, in order to discover the deep and broad reach water source. In this process below ground, something else happens above ground, strength. Forces that would destroy something with no roots, actually works to the oaks advantage by testing the strength and fortitude of the deep rooted oak. Note that idea: As the roots focus on its source of life, the raging destructive elements from surface environment are actually revealing the strength of the tree. This strength is increased as new oaks can tie into the root system of existing oaks. Even fire, which would destroy many trees on the top, has been overcome by the root systems sprouting new stems from the ashes of the trunk.
In the end, these mighty oaks will naturally produce an innumerable amount of seeds with the potential to experience the same journey. Nurture, identity, growth, depth, strength, and influence. At the end producing an adding life to the environment around it. Providing food, shelter, shade, nutrition for the soil for new seeds to flourish and other life to reap the benefits.
When we look at people it is important to understand the above concept. People are not seeds with potential, but a manifestation of the source with the ability to bring forth life. Once a seed becomes a peep, they are of the DNA and identity of the source of the seed. In the early stages of life nurture is critical, but as it grows the journey for life flows to model the strength of the source. By focusing on what the environment can provide or providing too much external nourishment, we discourage the roots to burrow deep into its real source. The roots stay on the surface depending on the environment for its life, or identity. Forcing a life of needing and never really living from who they were designed to be. On the contrary, by creating a thirst in the heart, we can see a tap root go deep into the source of their real identity.
Humans are unique to all other creation, the core substance that we deeply crave is the words from our Father that reveal who we are and whose we are. We want to know where we came from and where we are going. We want to know we belong and that our lives have significance. We crave the deep security of identity that burrows deep into the soil of our heart. This only happens by knowing and being valued by our source. The word father means source of life. When we meet our source, God, our tap root begins to grow when his name goes from being Mr. God Creator to the personal and intimate title of Dad. This was at the core of what Jesus modeled and sacrificed his life for us to have, a life influenced and intertwined with Him and His Father.
As our root branches from here into His personality, we find our roots intertwining with His. His words fueling and energizing our lives to a degree that what takes place on the surface changes. The fruit from our life becomes plenteous in season for others to pick from. The leaves of our branches no longer withers from the pressures and heat of life. Our life begins having a direct influence of change on the world around us. All of this a natural outflow from the pursuit of seeing who we are, by intertwining with the one who authored us. Even if the environment becomes hostile, we are at rest because it has no impact on where your supply of life flows from.
One thing to see from this picture is that the Father desires to draw us out of our dependence on an environmental nurture into a new supply source. He draws us out with the words of our identity, value and significance. As He is given access to influence the tap root of our life This root begins to borough deep, finding a new life that no longer flows from the sources outside, but from the heart. A place that brings the focus to a growth from what is not seen, that affects the world that is visible. The Father takes you from being vulnerable to being confident. The Father than exposes us to a world that is not safe. A world that wants to influence us, not to be influenced. Again, it is not safe, but he is good. He wants us to enforce the victory that has been given. Unmoved from the heart (courage) by the winds and the rain, as other come close to you for protection and shade. Thus the natural flow is life from the Father flowing from us, into those around us. Influencing a forest of new life.
So how do we introduce the Father to the fatherless? By going into the world of the fatherless, being and revealing their true family for them to find rest. An environment where seeds can take root and there source can be discovered. A place where nurture for healing, but is quickly replaced with a healthly level of salt creating a deep thirst only fulfilled in the deep water sources. A place where identity and strength is revealed as the roots go deep, then courageously released to influence those around us.