How many young men out there have big dreams for the Kingdom of God?
How many of those young men are actually doing big things for the Kingdom of God?
I myself have wrestled with this; I've talked to brothers in Christ about it; the recent Southwest Family Vision Conference put an exclamation point on it.
"In all labor, there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." That's how Solomon put it. Mike Wazowski took a more in-your-face approach- "Less talk, more pain, marshmallow boy!"
Guys, we're getting old quick. If you're like me, you probably have big goals and dreams. I want to marry young, have a boatload (read: army) of kids, be an elder in my church, a successful entrepreneur and businessman, maybe write a few books...
Those dreams are great. Taking those dreams out of the metaphysical realm and applying them to our daily decisions, however, is not an easy task.
I don’t think Scripture agrees with our culture, though.
As young men, we all have a huge calling as members of the Body of Christ. We can’t be spinning our wheels; we can’t be wasting God's time (Eph. 5:16). We’re in the middle of a war, and we’re at a cataclysmic point in that war. This is not a time for apathetic, lackadaisical manhood.
We can't be playing video games and watching movies. Rome is burning, and we, the young men, who should be using our youthful vigor to build the Church of Christ and tear down the gates of hell, are fiddling around on our Xbox.
Now is the time to be seeking God, building foundations for our families-to-be, working, working, and working. Now is the time to be getting married. Now is the time to draw swords and leap into the colosseum of Reality. Now is the time to be doing manly things. Not tomorrow. Not next week or next year. We don't have time to waste. We must assume the responsibilities of manhood. We are the next wave, and we are sorely needed on the forefront.
We need to be focused leaders-in-training, loving our local churches, praying, studying, honoring our parents, investing in our families, making the most of our single years (and trying to bring them to a rapid conclusion!), paying our own bills, starting the next generation of Christian households, cutting out the good to invest in the best.
Or, as Kipling put it, filling every unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of distance run.
So guys- men- what are you doing? Are your works and your words matching each other? Are you a man, or an adolescent? Has God called you to marriage? Then what are you waiting for? Does something prevent you? Then what are you doing to eliminate that barrier? Are you paying your own bills? Driving your own car? Are you contributing to your local church? Are you making disciples and being discipled?
Are you working, or wishing?
Please pray for me on this. I need it. I want to be a faithful warrior- not one who spent so much time sharpening his sword that he never actually joined the fight.
All it takes is a little sleep, a little slumber, a little free time, a little dreaming, and enough busy work to make us feel like we're actually accomplishing something, and ten years of marriage and five kids have been lost in the great black hole of "could have been."
Many a man claims to manhood,
Many a runner to run,
Many a runner to finish the race,
Which yet he has hardly begun.
Many a man is convinced
That what he's done is good enough,
Many a man has calmly called quits
Just because the going got rough.
Many a man has spent many a year
Dreaming his life's thrilling plot,
And come to the end and realized
He'd already done it- or not.
Yet there are a few who have chosen,
By the Grace which God chose to outpour,
To turn the few talents they're given,
To run 'til they can run no more,
To forsake the good for the better,
And the better for that which is best;
Spend six full days upon labor,
And the seventh on diligent rest;
Rather to work for slight profit,
Than talk of great things and have none;
Spend their time waking than dreaming;
Embracing the sweat and the sun;
To live out their life to its fullest,
And breathless, arrive at the end,
Knowing they've done, and not talked about doing,
Chose to climb, even slow, ne'er descend.
Few men can say this, for most, in their prime,
Succumbed to the comforting whisper of time,
Which says that tomorrow will gladly fulfill
Whatever today is too difficult still.
But that far-seeing man who prays for the grace,
To redeem the time he may run,
That is the man at whom history quakes,
That is the man who has won.