Fierce men are few and far between. Men who have faced their demons and slain their fears. Men who have taken a stand on the inside and said, “No more !” to the crippling castrations of the status quo.
How can a man ever flourish whilst playing the role of “Mr. nice guy”?
Call him what you will, “Mr. church guy”, “Mr. Business man”, “Mr. plumber, baker, candlestick maker…”
The man lost under his own labels. Screaming to get out and shout his reality.
Men of Adullam, looking for the King to come. You know who you are!
“And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” (1 Samuel 22:2 KJV)
Distressed, discontented and wanting. Beyond caring what others think or say. Desperate for change. The descriptions of these men who discovered themselves in the cave sing a different tune to the one we usually hear. These were the mighty ones in the making.
No longer hiding under a blanket of respectability they gathered to discover a new way of living.
These are the ones ready to embark on exploits worthy of the telling.
The guy who
“…went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.” (1 Chronicles 11:22 KJV)
This wild man leapt into a pit and slew the beast. The weather was raging, the winds were blowing contrary. The danger was real, present and salivating for his demise.
Did he run in the opposite direction? Did he shy from the battle?
No, who chose to jump into the pit and face the fight. He “went down” so he could emerge a better man.
I want to be a man who jumps into the pit. Who doesn’t cover-up, gloss over, pretend or parade. I want to be a man with blood on his sword from the battles I have fought and won. With myself. With my own lies and layers.
It takes courage to step out of this world’s broken system and living the warrior’s way is not a matter of right and wrong, it is a matter of personal character. My choice to lie is a matter of character. My choice to tell the truth is a matter of character.
If I respect myself I will tell the truth. If I respect others I will tell them the truth.
How often do we support one another’s fantasies by agreeing with things that are clearly not working. I climb behind the bushes and fig trees of society’s norms and stay hidden in my stories of, “I’m ok”.
My daughter, just turned 18, asked a powerful question of our family at dinner a few night ago.
“Are you happy?”
Honestly. No. Most of the time there’s an underlying frustration that pervades most of what I do. A prowling lion of discontent, taunting me with feelings of inadequacy.
The growling rumble of “never enough”.
I can kid myself and say I’m content. But it would not be true.
I can say, “I’m a good man.”
But there’s a vast gulf between a “good” man and a “mighty” man. I know which side of the valley I want to stand on.
A Good dad? I don’t want to be a “good” dad. I want to be a great dad who is 100% invested in my sons and daughters. A man who impacts my posterity so deeply by example they would never want to depart from the way of truth. Ever.
I can continue to wrap myself in kid-glove fantasies that I’m the husband I need to be for my queen, but who am I kidding? Years of excuses and not turning up as the man I needed to be leave their mark.
Am I the faithful follower of Jesus I claim to be? When it suits me, yes. But the hard sayings and tough meat of His Way stick in my comfortable throat. I still find myself choking on the facts of my own pitiful lack of dedication to sell all and follow Him to the edge – to leap from the cliff edge of philosophy and religious observance into a real and raw life of honest faith. And don’t lay the charismatic card on me. Just because you speak in tongues and raise your hands doesn’t cut it in a pit on a snowy day!
I no longer want to defend my lions. I can’t leave them prowling the pits and caverns of my soul.
What will happen when I stand before my King and give account? Will I be faced with the man I could have been, or will I stand with the scars of a life well-lived?
“…he went down” (1 Chronicles 11:22 KJV)
This guy chose to wrestle his lions. He didn’t wait until it was convenient. He didn’t hang for favourable circumstances when it was appropriate and acceptable to do so.
He chose to go down into the dark places with his sword unsheathed.
I want to be that kind of man.
The nutcase who goes down into the pit on a snowy day to slay his lions.