Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Men's Retreat - 2

My view this morning
“It is easy to find good teaching on how a man should live but it is hard to find a man who is living it”. That was a comment by one of the young guys at the retreat. Ouch!

But how true; I see it in myself. I know what the right thing to do is in many areas but my life doesn’t match my knowledge. Then there is the myriad of areas where I am clueless.

I then wondered if the guy he is looking for even exists. Is there a guy at church or out there anywhere else who has it all together? Now there are plenty who would proclaim so. There was a time in my life when I would have thought so for me.

Or is the lesson somewhere deeper? If the perfect, all together guy doesn’t exist then maybe we need something else.

Some years ago we went to a church with a near perfect pastor with a near perfect family. If they had any flaws, they must have been miniscule – at least that is what they portrayed. The message sent to the rest of us was if we were not like them it was because we didn’t really love the Lord Jesus or maybe we didn’t take Scripture seriously.

As you might guess, it didn’t take a lot of probing to see what was really there. The pastor surrounded himself with brown-nosed yes men. Disagreement of substance was not tolerated. If you felt different then you probably better find a different church.

An almost comedic example of the charade was what happened with the pastor’s daughter who married the youth pastor and then was divorced. Oh, I should probably mention that the pastor’s family was all employed by the church including son-in-laws. Anyway, a divorce might mar the near perfect illusion this pastor enjoyed. The daughter’s marriage was annulled and they went through remaining copies of the church directory and removed the page that had the daughter and ex-son-in-law. It was all as if it never happened. Some time later she married another guy and he too became a church employee.

So the perfect guy/mentor probably doesn’t exist. Maybe what we need to look for is a guy who knows how to get up after he falls. A guy who can be honest with the reality of his struggles. A guy who may have some areas together and we can learn a lot from him there. A guy who presses on when life gets tough. A guy who works hard to keep his marriage together. A guy who knows how to go to work day after day when he doesn’t feel like it. A guy who will expose his failings so I can learn what not to do.

So what I need is a messed up guy like me. Not perfect or all together but drawing close to the one who is perfect. That is the guy who can help me. I will never be perfect or have it all together so I can identify with him. I can be honest with what is really going on in my life. I won’t have to fake it when I’m around him. He understands and helps me get up after I fall.

And maybe I can be that guy to someone else.

Philip

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