Just a Simple Thought on MEN!

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

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Just a Simple Thought on MEN!

  1. Beth G

    Jon
    What do you think makes a man exactly? I.E. you give examples of Men whom…it seems you respect and admire for the roles they play(ed) within their lives, but what are those traits? What of those traits do you think you hold, and what can you learn from them?

  2. jonjonjon

    Wow!! Great questions here!!! You know, I don’t think I have straightforward answers but I can try!

    I admire a man who isn’t afraid to be him self. I think often time’s men, and women at that, put on a kind of act. A facade. Not intentionally or with the purpose to deceive people. I think it’s almost natural in today’s day and age to conform to what people expect a man to be and often times the individuality of the person is sacrificed. I think there is a burning sense of adventure in a man’s heart. This adventure and the dangers of it are somehow weaved into a man’s soul. I admire men who are willing to take risks and allow them selves to be caught up in the adventure of life. Adventures that an office or money can never satisfy. Today success is often measured by the car we drive, the house we live in and the paycheck we bring home, especially here in Los Angeles.

    I also think deep in the heart of a man there is a yearning to fight for what they love. I think there is something in us that wants and needs to “win” the love of a woman, to chase after her. To be challenged by her. I admire men who can acknowledge this. I admire a man who expresses this to his lover!

    Within our society I think we are seeing the role of men changing drastically. I think in the last hundred or so years, as much of the world has been tamed so to has there been an attempt to tame a man’s heart. I’m not saying it’s for the better or worse, but it’s changing. I think deep in a man’s heart there is a need for freedom and passion and today’s world with it’s offices, 7 series’, and 20 acre estates can’t satisfy it.

    As far as what traits I think I hold! Even more difficult!!! I am trying everyday to live a life that God will be proud of. I am trying to better my life and be a strong, caring, loving and supportive husband to my wife. I know I am extremely loyal and reliable. As far as the adventure aspect, I’m trying to figure that one out. Honestly Beth, instead of quenching my souls cry for adventure through traveling around the country or world right now I’m finding more adventure in the word of God and in trying to become ever closer to Him with every breath I take. I know this might sound kind of… well… retarded!! It’s the truth though. Many of the longings I feel in my heart, the ones I can’t put words to, God and my walk with Jesus is satisfying more than I could ever imagine.

    I know this doesn’t directly answer your question but I hope it helps. Thank you for the response, fantastic questions!! I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now and I will continue to think!!! Thanks!!!!

  3. Interesting dialog here, and that excerpt is beautiful.

    I think it applies to society as a whole, not just men.

    I have a theory that the industrial revolution, and all of the modern conveniences that came from it, initiated the decline of the human race. It’s not that I don’t love an “easy” life. I do. But I think in the days when people had to labor to feed their families, and build their own homes, and work at tasks that they could see the results of, humans were happier. When a man went hunting, and brought home meat, then the woman prepared it and served it to her family, there was a peace of mind and a satisfaction that few of us feel today.

    Most of us work at jobs that don’t really “do” anything. Seriously, we shuffle papers and input data and so on. Then we get a paycheck, which is deposited into a bank far away, and we access the money by way of a little card. We never meet the banker, or the client, or see people using our products.

    Too few actually see the fruits of their labors. Some do, of course, and a life of labor is not easy. I don’t mean to imply that it is. But a farmer who got up with the cows and went to bed as the sun set did not need medication to sleep. He did not go to the gym for exercise.

    Anyway, I know I’m off track, but my point is that in subduing the beast (the lion, and the world), we have taken the joy from his life and from ours. He would probably have preferred to die in the wild than to live in a cage, if lions can have such thoughts.

    Thank you again, Jon, for giving me something to think about.

  4. jonjonjon

    Well put and I agree! Do you think there is anything to the thought that the further we distance ourselves from God the more prevelant these things become?

  5. Sisanda Henna

    Hey JOn!!!
    Since hearing the news of Obama’s election i had been curious to hear your opinions on it, and a little reporting through your lenses, and wht its like now in the US etc
    so i hurried over here to see if you had blogged on it.
    It would be great to hear your thought, and B and I will come check it out. I’ll read this article now though…
    Much love to you and R

    • jonjonjon

      Sisanda, I’m so sorry for the delayed reply!! We miss you guys so much!!! 2010 World Cup in South Africa, maybe I’ll find a way to come see you then! That is if you are even there!! I will shoot you a private email soon!!! As far as Obama! I have very mixed feelings! I think it is a great milestone for African Americans and the thought of him in office excites me. I’d like to see this country move forward and become the great nation we can and should be. Unfortunately the first few months of the Obama administration has had me thinking maybe he isn’t all I thought. It’s really not fair to judge him yet though so for now I will just believe and pray for him.

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