Why do humans go places and touch things they aren’t supposed to touch? That is a constant theme in a lot of these movies, especially Alien vs Predator (AVP). Humans seem to have this undying curiosity which sometimes…well… leads to them dying.
There are several other observations I made while watching AVP which relates to this idea of the need for ceremony and rites of passages.
1. The humans who were exploring the underground pyramid removed three crucial items that were necessary to the successful completion of the rite of passage.
2. When the young Predators would kill the Aliens, they used the dead Alien’s corrosive blood to make a permanent mark on themselves.
3. The young Predator sought out help from the female heroine (the only human on the exploration team who thought it was a bad idea to go down there in the first place).
4. At the end of the ritual, the mature Predators arrive to collect and honour those that survived this rite of passage.
An essential truth is that the road to maturity needs to be purposeful. There are important tools that are necessary and should be a part of this journey. Secondly, a young person is developing a sense of maturity when they realize that help is needed, and this could be an important element in a rite of passage. The scarring or marking of the individual represents this idea that there should be something visible that marks the completion of the rite. (I am NOT promoting the need for a tattoo!) There should be something accomplished that proclaims, “I have done it!” Finally, those that are mature recognize the changes and the steps that have been taken by those who have completed the rite. Acknowledgement from those who have gone ahead is crucial for guiding the younger into maturity.
Yes, I know this was just a movie, and maybe even a film that most people haven’t even bothered to watch. (How many times can one watch an alien bursting out of someones chest before it gets old?) However, AVP highlights (in an odd and unexpected way) the things that we believe in and the programs available in the “Genesis Man” Men’s ministry.
Fathers (or Mentors) should plan a rite of passage for their boys. For my son, I had him sleep in the tree house in our backyard one summer night. We talked about why he was doing it and discussed his apprehensions and bought all the gear he would require for a success adventure. I then had him journal and reflect on his experience.
Passport to Puberty is an excellent program for pre-teen boys (there is a girl’s version as well) that address subjects of sex, peer pressure, and the challenges they will soon meet as teenagers. I spent the weekend in my mother-in-laws unfinished basement doing this, and it was an experience we will both not forget.
Ceremonies are something we carry out for young men at some key junction of their lives. It takes about an hour; it’s planned by a Mentor or Father, and is in an informal setting. The candidate is issued a challenge they must present to a group of men and their peers. They are given a “gift of significance” and are encouraged and exhorted by each person in attendance. There is a general recognition of their maturity and expectation of their responsibilities. We take the time to say, “You know what, you are a man.”
As I mentioned in Part 1 of the Blog, ceremonies are not just for weddings, and rites of passages are more important than we think. As men and mentors it is our responsibility to get our boys and young men to manhood and maturity with their eyes open.
Please email me if you would like more details about any of these programs at firstname.lastname@example.org
One final word…avoid all underground alien pyramids under the Antarctica ice!