The last blog was on looking for my own sense of manhood. Here’s the sequel. Where did I begin to find it? In some very strange places.
The first strange place was in certain movies that scraped a raw nerve inside me. The men I saw portrayed there had a heart that I desperately wanted. They awakened something in me that had been derailed and deadened for years. One of the best examples of this is the following movie:
I wept the first time I saw The Last Samurai. For it awakened a desire in me to be a true warrior, someone willing to live for an honorable cause and then willing to die if needed. Yet I had no idea how to get there. A new trajectory had to be taken. But how?
The answer to that came in the second strange place. It was the book I began to write entitled Landmarks. Here I traced out a map of the inner journey required for anyone to move towards God, the landmarks we must pass by. But in the process I began to understand that this is also the journey to become a man. All of the landmarks I had struggled through were actually part of my initiation into manhood. I was farther along than I really understood.
The third strange place was Jesus. It seems so obvious to me now, but I cannot tell you how much of a revelation it was. Jesus was not only the one sinless man. He was the first real man. All of the heroes I had ever seen were but pale reflections of this great hero, this great warrior. Following him was not just going to make me a better person. It was going to make me a man. For the Scriptures are full of encouragements that we are going to become like him.
The final strange place was silence. I have been taking some of the young men I teach out to a nearby park. I give them a Bible, a few verses to look up, and one rule. Be silent for 15 minutes. The response? They love it. For they are realizing that masculinity is ultimately spiritual. And it must be rubbed on us from an exterior source. We cannot find it on our own. This is what God the Father loves to do for young men. And for older men like me.
For it’s never too late to find one’s manhood. Never.