Throughout history a man’s manliness often hinged on his capacity to be able to cross a river at some point of his journey.
Rivers have official names, and… unofficial names.
Teddy Roosevelt had his… River of Doubt.
Julius Caesar had his… Point of No Return.
And Samuel Clemens had his… Big Muddy.
I myself grew up around… The Wolf.
And as a young lion emerging from the wilderness, you may find yourself along the banks of a common water way… a river every young, and old lion alike, runs afoul of throughout his journey, often times… having to cross the same body of water more than once, and it can have any official name it wants, but we recognize it by it’s true nature and nickname, and call it…
“The River of Indecision.”
And there we stand.
The preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, called The Jordan river, “…the Jordan of Indecision…” in a sermon on May 12th, 1889.
Our personal “River of Indecision” can affect our manhood in many ways.
I noticed my own “indecision” was helping to hold me back performing work tasks. Because I wasn’t decisive with my execution, I leaned on my OCD, in order to feel comfortable moving from one task to the next.
That process was becoming inefficient, and creating in me a bit of apprehension… like leaning on an old, cracked, walking cane… that’s being held together with a few wraps of duct tape, my confidence was becoming apprehensive as the size of my work load increased… as it put the cane under a new, and heavier strain.
You know in your heart… “it’s just a matter of time,” before that cane, crutch, or inefficient system is going to fail on you… like a bad car battery on the first real cold day of the year, leaving you stuck in an out of town Walmart parking lot… the thing is, you just don’t know when.
As men, as a cadre of lions, we can be aware of the condition of that car battery, cane, or inefficient system, and set in place some preventative maintenance… to keep everything running smoothly and moving forward in our growth as men.
The Israelite clans of old, allowed their “Jordan of Indecision” to turn a journey that could have been completed in under a month, into a wandering around for forty years, and being indecisive the whole way.
When they were finally ready to go across and take the land, God mentioned they would not take it all at once, and not… “until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”
A cub of a lion is taken care of by the pride… UNTIL he has increased to a certain size… then his own dad kicks him out, as he will soon be a direct rival.
But… he’s not “FULL GROWN” just yet, he has a lot to learn.
As he, and you… and I… wander along our own journey, hopefully we can find enough physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment along the way that allows us to “FILL OUT.”
Increasing enough to take possession of our own manliness, our own pride, and being filled out enough to be a mutual benefit to our personal coalition of lions, families, and communities.
As a common everyday man, living in a time when a man has to go out of his way to find an adventure he would consider as being helpful in filling him out, we find it difficult to “get our blood up!”
In Spurgeon’s words, “Will you draw your sword & burn the scabbard?”
Being “DECISIVE” is a mark of a man.
Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon… effectively declaring himself an enemy of the state… decisively!
Teddy Roosevelt… planned and executed one last grand adventure… that almost killed him… decisively!
And as a riverboat pilot Mr. Clemens would “MARK TWAIN!” decisively, keeping his boat and crew safely in the channel.
The trick of the trade, to increase your lion like standing among men, and producing a personal confidence second to none, is found in the word… “ACKNOWLEDGE.”
I’ve been deploying it against my work tasks… acknowledging it needs to be done… doing it… and then acknowledging it’s completion, letting it register in my mind… instead of losing the moment to repetitive habit… like the last five miles, of your daily commute home.
The trick of acknowledgment forces you to remain “PRESENT & AWARE” keeping the focus of your mind… on the tasks of your hands… those things that are “RIGHT BEFORE YOU.”
We may not have to face any real dangers, that would provide an opportunity to draw our swords. No dragons, no Ogre, no Evil Black Knight… but 2020 isn’t quite over yet!
As we continue on in our search for a meaning, to what it means to be a man, we can absolutely, take an exhortation from Mr. Spurgeon, and use it to conquer our own inefficient, immature, and unmanly proclivities…
“Gird on your harness, and go forth to the fight, for the Lord is with you, [having crossed over the river of indecision] the land is right before you.”
Standing there… like a massive Cape Buffalo.
ACKNOWLEDGE your current position, young lion… acknowledge you have a ways to go… then pad forward DECISIVELY… with confidence… and don’t forget to “MARK TWAIN!” once in awhile to check your depth!
Don’t go getting in over your head… you ain’t tackling that Buffalo by yourself!