Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet by Nathan Foster

I am reposting this 2014 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $2.99 until July 6th.
Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet by Nathan FosterSummary: A son seeks and finds more than just his father while climbing Colorado’s 14,000 ft peaks.

I am a pastor’s kid.  I never had the bad experiences, or rebellious backlash that some have.  But I understand some of the impulses and I have observed the fall out.

Nathan Foster isn’t a traditional pastor’s kid, but as the son of the well known and influential writer and speaker/teacher Richard Foster, he seems to fall into the PK category of feeling like he was sacrificed to the ministry.

Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet is a memoir.  Nathan Foster in his early 20s is married, still having a difficult life, living in Colorado and as a way to connect with his father, asks Richard to climb one of Colorado’s 14,000 ft mountains.

Having spent a decent amount of time backpacking in Colorado, and doing two 14,000 ft peaks (which nearly killed me). I was attracted to the stories of the hikes and conversations that happened on those hikes.

I have also read four of Richard Foster’s book, three more than once and think of him as one of those spiritual authors that everyone needs to read.

What I appreciated about the book is that Nathan is clear that he didn’t feel close to his Dad growing up, but he is not blaming him or writing a ‘tell-all’.  Instead he is focusing on what he learned from his father and their reconciliation.

The story plays out over 10+ years. Nathan does well, relapses, spends time with his father while getting clean, finds his own vocation and all the while continues to hike with his Dad. The focus is clearly on the positive relationship that they now have and this is exemplified by the fact that Richard writes an epilogue that give some of his thoughts on those hikes, but more importantly shows a father that is proud of his son and the man he has become.

This is not a long book. I read it in about 24 hours. It is an easy read but with real depth behind it. I am not sure it is a book for everyone, but I think it is worth reading if you have a distant relationship with a parent, or if you are trying to find a place in the world (especially if you are your 20s), or if you tend to experience God best through nature.

Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet by Nathan Foster Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition 

Leave a Comment