“It’s a dog eat do world, and I’m wearing Milk-Bone underwear.” – Norm
Since Adam took a bite of that forbidden fruit, men have struggled. It comes with the territory and the curse. Bob Dylan sang about it when he crooned: “it runs in my veins.” Every day we wake up to face life’s battle. The average male feels like he’s facing an enemy hoard equipped with jet-pack flame throwers while he stands alone with his kid’s Super Soaker water gun. Outmanned, outgunned, and outclassed.
This struggle is not something guys spend much time thinking about, let alone talking about. Avoidance is our modus operandi. Escaping to a million available distractions or hiding behind a mask of masculine bravado, we slog through life’s muck. But the deep, nagging fear and ache will not go away. One day we wake up to find that life and relationships have slowly unraveled.
Paul articulated it well in a letter to his friends in Rome:
….I need something more! For if I know the rules but still can’t keep them, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
On November 18-19, my friend Matthew and I are facilitating a weekend workshop for men. Together, we’re going to address those very questions. Together, we’re going to take a good look inside, then take a good look around to realize we are not alone. Our hope is that every guy who attends will find tools for positive change and a band of brothers to encourage the first step towards the reality that God has made the way for us to experience victory against insurmountable odds.
This workshop is something that’s been percolating inside of Matthew and me for a couple of years and we’re finally making it happen. The workshop is Fri Nov 18 (6:30-9:30) and Sat Nov 19 (8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) $25 to cover cost of materials and food. More information and online registration can be at http://trcpella.com/workshop .