Questions are an essential part of life but a subject that us men seem a little nervous around. They are essential because they help us troubleshoot; a vital part of problem solving which is a core purpose of the masculine soul.
Questions are a sign of humility which predisposes God to give us His power. 1 Peter 5:5 they also reveal a desire to learn, grow, develop and transform and these are intrinsic parts of being a disciple of Jesus.
I have had many questions levelled at me through the years and I have had those ‘percolating questions’ that rise up within my masculine heart and soul. These usually fall into two categories – What is a man? Am I a man?
Right from the outset my masculine heart and soul received a steady stream of data regarding these two foundational and fundamental questions. I have to say; the messages were mixed, confusing and conflicting. Until I came to a place, a ah ah moment.
I was reflecting on Gen 1:28 and reading a book by John Eldridge and came to a thought of his –
“God doesn’t make generic people, he makes something very distinct – a man and a woman. In other words, there is a masculine heart and a feminine heart which in their own ways reflect and portray to the world God ‘s heart.” Pg 8 Wild at Heart John Eldredge
If I believe, which I do, that I am created by God, then He intentionally designed and defaulted my masculine soul. At that moment, eight years ago, the desire to discover the design, function and purpose of the masculine heart and soul began.
What I have discover, learnt and am applying is the subject of the next four posts.
The structure, functions and purposes of the masculine heart and soul are fourfold – Navigate, Engage, Empower, Sacrifice.
The big four are like grid references on a map. They are ordinance survey points that help orientate us. They are the needles of a compass and sacrifice is the magnetic north our masculine heart and soul.
Navigate speaks of planning and directing a journey, by the use of maps and instruments at our disposal. This paradigm of life as a journey which needs to be proactively charted, lies at the core of our MH&S, by design. It is not co-incidental that the game Uncharted was a massive hit with men and yet the things called for through the levels, tests and challenges of the game, are paralleled in life. Sadly, too many men have retreated to the online version and seem detached from the real-life version of Uncharted!
“Adam was created outside the garden, in the wilderness. Man was born in the outback, from the untamed part of creation!” Pg 34 Wild at Heart. John Eldredge
An essential part of navigating is trusting the encounters and experiences of those who have gone before and who have left clues to the terrain, obstacles and challenges of the journey. These mature topographers, these generational ‘charters,’ are what the Bible calls spiritual fathers and should be in our world, and yet they are rare.
I have to be honest and say I don’t think I’ve been the best navigator or topographer to my marriage and family but like Paul I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting what’s past I press on to the upward call of Christ. Phil 3:12
In July and November of 2016 I was given the privilege of becoming a granddad. I feel the call of this new level of the ‘computer game of life!’ I have another chance as a navigator and topographer and I will rise to challenge to be there for the emerging and the established generations.
AS the lyricist said “No one said it was easy!’ and nothing worthwhile ever is!
Michael Paling has been on and recorded many great journeys.
Stephen Tompkinson, is giving us amazing aerial views of great landscapes and places as he balloons across continents.
- Great journeys are vital to the masculine soul, for it was created to explore!
- The glossary of the masculine soul includes words like: adventure, discovery, challenge, risk.
- Great journeys offer us all of these and more.
Great journeys are not just geographical. Life offers us the opportunity to discover, go beyond the norm and the status quo
- Think about childhood to adolescence. Remember that?
- From adolescence to manhood.
- From single to married
Great journeys, undertaken, mean the traveller will not be the same when they get back. This in part, is why we long to go there as men. One of greatest ‘toxins’ for the masculine soul is boredom.
“Boredom is the plight of a modern man when he lacks distraction and has no absorbing passion or pastime.” Blaise Pascal
When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. (Joshua 13:1 NIV)
- Joshua was very old but God is not talking retirement, slippers and shed.
- His agenda is still to go beyond, to move from the familiar to the unknown!
- Joshua’s travelling and journeying days were not over!
When we stop journeying we become settlers and we silence and sideline the urge to move out and into!
There is a great journey that I believe the Father desire we all take as men and that journey is from Memory to Imagination. Memory and imagination are powerful dynamics that have the ability to impact our masculine hearts and souls, leaving their mark and some impacts are meteoric!
- Memory is all past, previous or present focused!
- Imagination is possible and future focused!
- Memory is limited, imagination unlimited!
One of the saddest dynamics I have experienced many times over in conversations with men, is they focus on what they have done, seen and experienced. Very little about what they are looking forward to, imagining or planning for!
For some men, imagining is not the problem; it’s the power of memory that keeps them within the boundary line and accepting the status quo, instead of crossing over into new territory.
See Gideon Judges chapter 6 esp v13.
One thing I have realised about following the Father of the Bible is this:
- He never leaves us where He finds us.
- He always takes His sons from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary
Speaking as an achiever, Lord and mentor Jesus said to His twelve disciples and friends, this very truth – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8 NIV)
The Holy Spirit will lead these men from Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth; this is not just about the spirit of mission but of adventure and risk. The Holy Spirit would be compelling these men to keep journeying, He would be pioneering opportunities that would be life transforming, for them and others!
Being male and a follower of Jesus is not about slippers and settling but about journeying and transformation! Travelling and greatness are intrinsically connected.
Final thoughts –
- A soul can exist in memory but it can only thrive through imagination!
- Have you taken this great journey yet as a man?
- Are you still behind the line and in the memory?
- Women burnt their bras do we need to burn our slippers?
The greatest journey lies ahead: from time into eternity and what we have released in time will echo throughout eternity.