The Inner SharkIf you should doubt whether God loves wildernesses and adventure, then spend a night camped alone in the Rockies, canoe Alaskan whitewater, fly an ultralite aircraft trans-continental, kill and eat a rattlesnake in the Superstitions, swim with sharks in the Pacific…

Treasure hunter Richard Ray and I were SCUBA-diving in search of a ship Sir Frances Drake may have scuttled off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I spotted a six-foot-long blacktip shark casually threading its way along an underwater stream below me. I couldn’t resist the temptation for a close-up look.

I flipped my fins and dived straight down toward the beautiful big fish. It continued swimming nonchalantly, eyes lifeless and cobra-like, teeth in display. I approached from behind, swimming hard to overtake. The chase became an exhilarating game of tag. Maybe the shark thought I was going to eat it. It vanished into deep water with a final flip of its tail.

I surfaced and returned to where I left my dive buddy. Spotting him about thirty feet below, I dived down along his bubbles and thrust my head suddenly around into his downward-looking face. He thought the shark had him. Both of us nearly drowned, he from alarm, me from laughing through my mask and mouthpiece.

I am reminded by the occasion of how, in our strange new world, engaging in such adventure is considered “toxic masculinity.” Men now wear man-buns and makeup, shave their chests, and seek “safe spaces.”

But a man should not live merely to keep his fingernails clean. As a boy, he seldom dreams of being sensitive, soft, manageable, and, well, feminine. God meant it that way. The male of our species needs to sail oceans again, explore jungles, seek out hidden treasure, have adventures. . . To go where his soul cannot be folded, spindled, or mutilated. While all men die, fewer and fewer of us actually strive to really live.

“Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man,” John Eldridge wrote in Wild at Heart. “The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, ziplock, franchised, on-line, microwavable. . . Where there are no deadlines, cellphones, or committee meetings. . . A man needs to feel the rhythm of the earth, he needs to have a hand in something real—the tiller of a boat, a set of reins, the roughness of a rope… “

A man needs to confront his inner shark.

Charles W. Sasser, author of over 60 books and novels, including his most recent CRUSHING THE COLLECTIVE: THE LAST CHANCE TO KEEP AMERICA FREE AND SELF-GOVERNING. Available at bookstores, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.