I’ve been reading a lot lately. Various different topics and sources. One of the books I’m reading is John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”. It’s so far a good read. The book is known to give insight into a man’s heart and how to rediscover God’s passion and sense of adventure in it. I think there is a fair amount of insight provided in regards to a man’s purpose in today’s world, his place. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something fun but touching and involving some thought.
And on the note of something being touching, I would like to share a portion of the book that effected me greatly. When I read this my eyes fill with tears. I think from it we can pull so much truth about us men. The men of the twentieth century. The men of twentieth century western society. You may find this silly, and to be honest I can’t fully explain the feeling I have or why these few short paragraphs effected me so. What I do know is that for the most part I feel that there are fewer and fewer MEN in society. I think today far to many of us men run from adventure and trouble. We run from our problems and we run from love. So many of us don’t fulfill our manly purpose we have been assigned by God. We are leaving our families without fathers, giving up on love and turning our backs on commitments. We have traded our knives for staplers. Our passions have been traded for degrees and dreams replaced by six figured salaries. We all have a sense of adventure and yearning for danger but we try and quash them with investments and political debates. I see it in my friends and in the people I work with. I see it on the nightly news and in the Sunday paper. I see it in my church on Sunday. It’s so clear and such a huge problem in today’s America. Trying to think of some examples I can only come up with a handful of MEN out of the dozens of men I know. My mom’s husband is a MAN. I think my pastor to be a MAN. I have a friend Leo who I would classify as a MAN. My father-in-law is for sure a MAN. Very few in deed. By MAN I am meaning someone who owns their lives. Someone who is caring and loving but strong and courageous. Someone who isn’t afraid of adventure and love. Someone who will fight for that which he loves!!!
Well, with that here is the portion of the book which I love:
“Our local zoo had for years one of the biggest African lions I’ve ever seen. A huge male, nearly five hundred pounds, with a wonderful mane and absolutely enormous paws. Panthera leo. The King of the Beasts. Sure, he was caged, but I’m telling you the bars offered small comfort when you stood within six feet of something that in any other situation saw you as an easy lunch. Honestly, I felt I ought to shepherd my boys past him at a safe distance, as if he could pounce on us if he really wanted to. Yet he was my favorite, and whenever the others would wander on to the monkey house or the tigers, I’d double back just for a few more minutes in the presence of someone so powerful and noble and deadly. Perhaps it was fear mingled with admiration, perhaps it was simply that my heart broke for the big old cat.
This wonderful, terrible creature should have been out roaming the savanna, ruling his pride, striking fear into the heart of every wildebeest, bringing down zebras and gazelles whenever the urge seized him. Instead, he spent every hour of every day and every night of every year alone, in a cage smaller than your bedroom, his food served to him through a little metal door. Sometimes late at night, after the city had gone to sleep, I would hear his roar come down from the hills. It sounded not so much fierce, but rather mournful. During all of my visits, he never looked me in the eye. I desperately wanted him to, wanted for his sake the chance to stare me down, would have loved it if he took a swipe at me. But he just lay there, weary with that deep weariness that comes from boredom, taking shallow breaths, rolling now and then from side to side.
For after years of living in a cage, a lion no longer even believes it is a lion . . . and a man no longer believes he is a man.”
John Eldredge – Wild at Heart pg. 40-41