October 26, 2017 v4 p48
When it comes to being a man most people associate that with strength. While that may be a truth, a lot of men are trying to project the wrong kind of strength.
There are times when I don’t feel like doing what I know that I should. In fact that’s one of my weakest traits. I have always been a procrastinator. I would put off things until the last minute, choosing to do things I wanted to rather than what I needed to. When it came down to me not having the extra time to work on those things before the deadline, I would put my head down and get everything done that I needed to. This would often lead to me needing to put a lot of other things on hold, including in some cases my family. While I may have been home, I would be tuned out to them in order to finish what I could have done days before. A lot of times it cut into m sleep, but I continually did it. I would always get things that were needed done, but it wasn’t always my best work. That wasn’t enough to motivate me to change, because I knew I could find the strength to get it done in the end. Or at least what I thought was strength.
While it may have taken physical and mental strength to complete those tasks, it wasn’t the type of strength I needed. I always knew that I needed to act differently, but I never really knew how to go about working on it. I’ve tried creating deadlines, writing things down on calendars, setting reminders, but ultimately I was always able to justify putting things off that I know I should do. It’s a lot easier to skip doing things to spend time with my kids. On the rare occasion that I didn’t get things done that I needed to I was easily able to write it off as having too much on my plate. One example of that is some of the jobs I have to do as the leader of the local Cub Scout Pack. The amount of responsibilities I have to handle in that position is considerable. Over the past few years I have been asking other parents to step to take some of those responsibilities, but with no luck. So when I miss a deadline or something gets forgotten, I could easily explain how much I juggle in that organization and most people accept that excuse. Rarely has anyone stepped up to take some of those responsibilities off my plate.
As I’ve been on this journey into my faith over the last three years I’ve done a lot of looking at myself. Trying to figure out what it is that I need to do in order to be the best I can. There were a lot of things that I did in my past that I had to come to terms with. That I had to make right with God and with myself. As I’ve been making my peace with those things it’s allowed me to focus more about the areas that weren’t so obvious to me. I’ve been focusing my prayers on what it is that God has discerned for me to do. I feel like I’m beginning to see where that path is supposed to lead. There are times when I can focus on my prayers. There are times when I have difficulty getting through them. The more I’ve been focusing my prayer on my discernment, to more certain areas of my life are trying to distract me from faith. It’s becoming quite obvious to me what I must do.
I have to follow what God has discerned. If I’m truly going to be love Him the way He loves me, this is not negotiable. The second area I have to serve in is my family. I must help my wife and kids to find the discernment that God has for them. I must have the strength to get my wife and children to heaven. This is not negotiable. I’ve been trying to figure out how I go about that, and it hasn’t been easy. The biggest obstacle I have to overcome in that area is my oldest son. When my wife and I returned to our faith he was 15. We didn’t want to force him to start going to church when we returned. We both agreed that taking that route would not work, and that it would probably end up forcing him away further than he already was. There was a lot of stuff I wanted to talk to him about before he left for college, but that was one of those things I found easy to put off. Now I’m trying to find a way to still talk to him about all of that stuff. This is a prime example of one area I need to be stronger in, and it has nothing to do with muscles.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. It really is true. I’ve found some new speakers to listen to who have been showing me the way to grow this strength that I need. I am figuring out ways to address these two very important areas that I need to strengthen. When I get stronger there it will cause me to become stronger in other areas. As I lead my faith life and family life better it will allow me to be a stronger leader in my professional life. That will allow my career to advance, which allow me to be able to better provide for more growth in my faith, and to better support my family in what they want to do. It all ties together.
I need to strengthen myself physically. But more people in my life depend on me strengthening myself as a better man.