My starting point was in 2009. I was totally in the dark, wondering if I was a man… or not.
Today, looking back, you have to wonder, “Why did it hit me then?”
When I looked at it back then, I realized I would need some “nourishment,” some “water and sunshine,” to get my thoughts on the subject of manliness growing.
But I forgot the first lesson I ever learned while working for my first farmer.
“You can’t pick rocks until the field gets plowed.”
Have you ever worked for a farmer “pickin’ rocks?”
That, in and of itself is an adventure, but to get there, the first thing that has to happen is… the field has to be plowed under. The ground worked up, in order for the rocks to rise to the top. So you can pick em’ later!
I’ve been using Romans Ch. 5 v.3,4 & 5 to assess my perseverance and character.
And much like forgetting that the field needs to be plowed first, I kinda skipped over the first verse, verse 3, “…but we also rejoice in our sufferings…”
Without sufferings, perseverance wouldn’t be “produced.”
Without plowing, without the ground getting growled up, rocks wouldn’t be produced.
“But Dave, wouldn’t it be better to avoid all that turmoil?”
Sure… if you’re Ok with a life full of weeds, and unproductive ground, with no growth, and no understanding.
There will be no “produce” OR “pickin’ rocks,” without the ground, or your heart and mind, going through some rough plowing.
Have you recognized your personal “dark?”
What has you reading blog articles? Buying books? Or starting to look for someone to talk to?
Hear that tractor firing up?
The point I would like to make today is… “Where do we start, when we decide to pursue our own, personal, manliness, when we are currently in the dark?”
My brain asked me, “Well, what do you believe about it?”
When I started out, looking for my manliness, it now reminds me of that farmer prospecting a new field he is considering to add to his acreage.
What shape is the field in now? What work is needed to get it to where I want it? Is the effort going to be worth the return? How far from the home farm is it located?
Working on our manliness will, and I think needs to… take us through some “personal sufferings.”
Today, I look at pain and suffering as teachers.
I don’t know if I’d say, “I consider them pure joy.”
But I do learn from them.
What do you believe makes up a “manly character?”
Are you looking across a field with good potential? Or a gravel parking lot?
Maybe you think your manly character is a piece of ground that is cemented over, unable to be plowed.
Romans 5:3-5 explains… “sufferings PRODUCE perseverance, perseverance PRODUCES character, and character [produces] HOPE.” emphasis is mine
I would like to ask you, “What do you think, you believe to be, is your foundation, for formulating, new thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives about your personal manliness?”
Like me, you may want to skip over the real “first step,” and get to pickin’ rocks right away.
I feel, I have learned, that I may have needed to spend a little more time figuring out what I believed manliness to be in the beginning, spending a little more time assessing this new terrain I was thinking of moving into.
And instead of working on one weed clump at a time… I could have fired up that old tractor and plowed up the whole thing, creating a clear battle field, giving me some room to grow as a man.