Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Man - Stand Tall

When do you know that you have become a man?
Does someone tell you when you have reached that destination?
Is it bestowed upon you by a group of peers?
Or is it something you ‘take on’ voluntarily,
like deciding to start a new habit??

I am reading two books right now:
Four Pillars of a Man's Heart by Stu Weber, and
Father Fiction by Donald Miller.
The authors both live in the same city,
and it is where I have now lived for nearly twenty years,
yet I have never met either.
What does it matter?
It doesn’t,
Because here is the thing...
I don’t need them to tell me when I became a man.

Although I spent nearly five years in our country’s military,
no one could lay upon me any mantle I didn’t choose to ‘take-on’.
In other words, the military didnt bestow on me the honor of manhood,
yet neither could they take it away.

In the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge,
there is an idea proposed that a man is either affirmed by his father,
or he receives a wound that keeps him from ever truly becoming a man.
The idea is then expanded that we all need another man
to confirm us as a real man.
I like that notion, and while the affirmation helps,
that doesnt make it true.

While we all like to be appreciated for what we do in life,
a “man” stands for something,
and often it is only confirmed when he has to prove his “mettle”.

Going to prison for my drunk-driving accident didnt take away my manhood.
Neither could the judge, police, attorneys, prisoners, guards, counselors,
or anyone ‘outside’ - including my wife, separate me from my “position.”

You and I have one choice...
do we pick up the “title” of being a man,
living it out daily wherever we are in the world,
good or bad, beautiful or ugly,
or do we leave it in the house when we step outside to face the world?

When I chose to drive drunk that night,
its because I laid down the role of ‘being the man.’
Instead, I let my anger and fear control me,
and I made a poor choice that hurt people.
But today, I stand tall.
Accepting the responsibility for my mistakes,
and moving forward to build a new life.
And thats what am man does.
He lives “it” out everyday.

Stu Weber, John Eldredge, and Donald Miller,
you are each men.
Not because I said so,
but because you chose to live the calling God put on your life.

Want to run from your calling?
Then you will secretly be questioning your manhood the rest of your life,
and constantly looking for other people to ‘affirm’ what only you can claim.

Today, stand tall.
Claim what God intended for you to be,
a man after His own heart!

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