Friday, December 19, 2008

yes. again.

"A man can be understood by knowing the questions that burn hotly within him. For many men, one question stands out among others as the one that matters most: “What should I do?” When men feel their deepest agony, that is the question they ask.

When a man finds himself in a place where that question cannot be answered, he moves to a place where it can. When he looks around and realizes he has wandered into a confusing situation where courage and creativity are required, he finds a way to return to the sphere of management, to some activity or responsibility where his skill and know-how are useful, where his inadequacy and fear will not be exposed, where the courage to live in an unpredictable world is not required; in short, he retreats to where he can find an answer to his burning question.

When a man flees the terror of mystery for the comforts of management, he compromises himself. A man ruled by the demand that he always know what to do cannot experience the deep joys of manhood. He has violated his calling and betrayed his nature.

God calls a man to speak into darkness, to remember who God is and what he has revealed about life, and – with that memory uppermost in his mind – to move into his relationships and responsibilities with the imaginative strength of Christ.

God is telling a story, a story full of life, love, and grace, a story of hating evil and honoring good, a story rich in drama, poetry, and passion. As we see his story told through our lives, we find the courage to handle the inevitable confusion of life. We find the strength to move ahead, to take risks, to relate deeply, because we are caught up in the larger story of God.

God calls us to move beyond the silence of Adam. We are to abandon ourselves to God with absolute confidence in his goodness; and with the freedom created by that confidence, we are to move into the depths of dangerous uncertainty with a life-giving word. That kind of movement might be something as simple as encouraging a child by giving extra attention, or something as terrifying as giving your heart where it may not be wanted.

But that is where the rub is in moving beyond Adam’s silence: we experience fear. A commitment to manly movement creates healthy fear. We realize there is no code to follow in the arenas we determine to enter. But it also creates a sense of anticipation. As we resolve to speak in darkness, God give courage: not the sort that stills trembling legs but the kind that helps us move forward on them.

It’s an interesting progression. When men move forward in faith, they more deeply realize their need of God, and therefore more earnestly seek him. And when we seek him with all our hearts, we find him. That’s the promise.

Men who spend their lives finding God are quietly transformed from mere men into elders: godly men who know what it means to trust a person when there is no plan to follow; spiritual fathers who enter dark caves that their children run from; Christlike mentors who speak into that darkness with strength instead of control, with gentleness instead of destructive force, and with wisdom that cuts through the confusion to the beauty beyond.

The path to authentic manhood is entered through the narrow gate of single-minded passion to abandon oneself completely to God. The path beyond the gate is the freedom to speak into darkness as one hears and echoes the voice of a well-remembered God."  The Silence of Adam – Larry Crabb

You ever read something, and it just leaps off the page as true? Here it is for me today. Encouraging. Challenging. Humbling. Thank you April for always being a consistent voice of God's "better word" for me. Yes.

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