For many years I charged through life without a care. “Be true to yourself” and “Look out for #1” were my guiding principles and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” could have been my anthem. I was sure the example I was setting for my children would benefit them in the future. “I’m living my life and I am going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off. I encourage you to do the same.”
Today, I am 48, a father of 6, (2 marriages) and trying to focus on being a better man. My priorities have changed and those around me benefit from that. I am still a knucklehead but maybe not quite the knucklehead I once was. I’m not a preacher, a pastor, or a motivational speaker (obviously). I’m a Dad, a husband, a son and a brother who wants something more. I am looking for other men, young and old, who are interested in the same thing. If you want more, even if you don’t even know what that looks like, maybe we can move forward together.
Want to hear something radical? Our creator has given us a User’s Manual and it is the Bible. Keep reading. Even without bringing Jesus & salvation into the picture, the principles put forth in the New Testament alone are a reasonable plan to live your life by. The Bible is to be taken as a whole. It would be unfair to the author of any work to pick and choose text and try to hang the theme upon that unless the author said, “It all boils down to this.” Turns out the Bible does say, “It all boils down to this…” Specifically, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Two things:
- Love God
- Love others
We are all knuckleheads and hardly deserve the attention of our friends much less that of the Creator. Inexplicably, God desires a relationship with us. He has revealed Himself to you in His creation, in a breathtaking sunset and in the love you feel for your children. If you are opposed to wanting to learn more about who created you and why, I got nothing for you. Stop here and go back to whatever you were doing. I’m not interested arguing. If you have real questions about who God is and you want to learn more, stick around.
If you think loving your neighbor as yourself sounds unreasonable then you’re right. It is. I struggle with it all the time. Truthfully, I’m not sure how much I like most people and am pretty comfortable with the fact that that is a two way street. Apart from trying to allow God to work through me, and I’m not entirely sure how that works, I generally gravitate toward people who are similar to me, or more often, I just gravitate to me. I’m not saying it’s a good plan, its just the truth.
As I consider the world around me the call to be sold out to God and love others as myself can be a challenge. However, God is calling us to more. Nothing of value is ever easy. Life isn’t easy. What is ever accomplished without someone stepping out of their comfort zone and moving forward? God’s love and salvation are free. We can’t earn it and it is available to anyone who wants it. Just ask and it’s yours. Moving forward and developing a deep relationship with anyone, however, takes time and effort. It isn’t about religion or church. It is about a relationship with God and our relationship with each other. Men, we need God and we need each other. Surprisingly, God needs us. God uses people to accomplish His mission. God has chosen you for a mission that only you can do. You were born in this time and place, surrounded by the people who are around you, for a reason and you know it. God has given you abilities and talents and you can piss them away or use them for their intended purpose. What will it be? Do you feel like there is more to this thing?