Saturday, May 14, 2011

Message to the Men

Back by popular demand, my “message to genders” post.  The previous one I checked, was one of the highest read posts.

Being Prepared 
Earlier on the this blog, I talked about how important being prepared is to being successful in the work environment….being prepared probably defines manhood to a large degree, in my opinion. 

As men, we should be prepared for any and all situations that may come our way.  This means constantly learning and growing in mind, body and skill (Like the The Prophet Napolean Dynamite said "Girls like guys with skills!" actually it was with less enthusiasm). 

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

I keep this quote on my facebook page for a reason and it means something different to me than it did when I first posted it.  I have a hard time living by it. I pondered this over a prayer when I was in Moab, I have a hard time accepting the Calvinist perspective that God predestines everything in my life, I also think this is a dangerous theological concept that hurts the Christian faith, but I am still open to the possibilities and have reconciled it at a personal level by accepting it as a possibility.  However, I remain a firm believer in free will, and that God allows us to exercise a small level of control over our domain.  The problem both perspectives lead to, is when we assume God controls everything that happens we may tend to blame Him and give up entirely our own responsibility to respond and act.  On the flip side, if we assume that everything is up to us, we may constantly blame ourselves when things do not go the way we intended.  Learning that you can't control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it is supposedly the defining mark of maturity....this felt, well, incomplete.  So when I pick up a guitar and I play it, its not me strumming but God's predestined will ordering me to play it?  No, but I think we exert stewardship over our emotions and our mind.  The body is connected to our mind thus we have control over that as well within reason.  Anything beyond that, ultimately is beyond our control.  I still believe, that all things work together for the good of his ultimate will, but I think His will is more relationship than it is dot mapping every physical occurrence.  

As men, one thing I think we have the biggest trouble with is our control issues.  Not to say we exert control over people, but we like to have control over our situations and there is nothing wrong with  that.  However, when things happen which we have no control over we allow it to affect how we feel about ourselves and our manhood.  If you’ve ever read the book “The Shack” you’ll see how the main character in the story felt like he failed as a father because his daughter was taken from him, despite the fact that it wasn't his fault and there really wasn't anything he could have done better to prevent the incident.  Then he resorted to blaming God "YOU let this happen."  

So in summary, manhood is an art that we must pursue bc we have the free will to pursue it, something to be continually worked at and like truth and beauty, it is ever fleeting and hard to hold on to, hard to grasp and hard to understand (especially for women) but I think a major piece of the puzzle is using those faculties which God allows you to have control over to be prepared for whatever comes your way.  You might never need to know CPR, but know it anyway just in case.  You might never need to know how to change a flat, but know it anyhow.  You might want to take spiritual precautions as well and think of scenarios that could happen which might affect your faith later on down the road, bring those fears before Christ and resolve to not let it affect your faith if it happened.  And when things go wrong, if it’s out of your control, it does not affect who you are as a man.  Lastly, know that doubt is not to be confused with humility....Know what you want and go after it with full force.  Or as the Lord said to me "fiercely". 

Sorry to get theological, but I felt that since we bear the image of God the two concepts are inseparable.   

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