The Shaping of Men
Those who know me know that I am not much into electronic gadgets. Fortunately, I have a number of friends who keep me "edgy". A Swiss Army knife is about as tech as I like to get but...about three weeks ago I got my first Smart Phone (Droid). Totally cool!
If you have one then you know how awesome some of the applications are for these so called "phones". I now have a compass, level, guitar tuner, radio, Pacman (cool!), metal detector, bibles, bar code scanner, web browser, LED flashlight, GPS, camera and I'm not nearly done but you can kinda get the idea. And all of this is in something that will fit nicely in my front pocket. Pretty incredible!
Anyway, not long after I got my phone, a friend of mine lost his. Fortunately, he found it but wanted to be assured that if he ever lost it again or had it stolen he would be able to locate it. So he downloaded a "phone finder" application and suggested that I do the same and I did.
Well, about a week ago I was out mowing (a place of absolute solitude for a man) and stopped for a moment and realized something was wrong. Sorta like the feeling you get when you notice your pants don't feel right, not because you don't fit in them anymore but because you realize your keys or wallet is missing. I keep my phone in a belt clip on my left hip and when I went to reach for the phone, it was gone. Oh no! I was visualizing my new phone in a million pieces as fertilizer all over the lawn. It must have fallen off my hip on a bounce. So I beckoned my wife to come hither. OK... I screamed in panic, but in a masculine kind of way, not like a little school girl. Moving on... she and I spent the next 45 minutes searching all over the lawn to no avail. Then I remembered, "I have a 'phone finder' on my phone".
With the instructions I received when I got the phone, I sent my phone a text message with my wife's phone and in the text was a special code that I had set up with the program prior, along with my e-mail address. When my phone receives the coded text message it sends an e-mail to me with the location that includes the precise degrees of longitude and latitude. With that information, I copied the location, opened up Google earth, pasted the location into the search box and within seconds I had an aerial view of the exact location of my phone. As it turns out, the phone was precisely where my tractor was parked. With that, my wife quickly went to the tractor and, sure enough, found the phone in an obscure place that both of us failed to notice the previous three times we checked the tractor over. Whew! What a relief!!!
As I was reflecting on this experience, I realized how paralell it is at times to my spiritual journey as a man. As I navigate life day to day, more often than I care to admit, I try to do it alone. I blow it as a husband when I fail to love my wife well. I break my children's hearts when my words to them are unreasonably harsh or lash out unjustly in anger. You know what I mean. We have all been there. But in a moment the Holy Spirit confronts my spirit and reminds me what I really need to do.
If there is one thing I have learned in my 40 years it is that I will never be God's man without God's Word. Yet I meet so many "church going" men who are still babes in Christ. Spiritually weak, passive, irresponsible, temporal thinkers, living for the moment opposed to living for Christ. It's only when they become desperate that they turn to the Lord of Truth to help them zero in.
For this very reason, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 that, "All Scripture is inspired by God ... so that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work".
My goal as a pastor, husband, father and friend is to be the kind of man that people can turn to for wise council, an encouraging word or a loving rebuke with the knowledge that my character and mind are being shaped by the Word of God. How would your wife, kids, co-workers and friends characterize you?
As we begin this journey, it is truly my hope and prayer that God will use me to help equip you to impact your world for the advance of the Kingdom of God and His Glory!