I’ve been re-reading “Wild At Heart”, and for some reason this time around JE’s statement about what men are designed for makes sense. “A Battle to fight. An Adventure to live. A Beauty to rescue. This is what a man longs for. This is what makes him come alive.”
Yes, that sums it up in a nutshell. A Battle, an Adventure, and a Beauty. That is a full and satisfying life, though it can only really be fullfilled in the context of walking in the Spirit, in submission to Christ. Fighting THE Battle, living THE Adventure, and if he thinks best lead us to THE Beauty whose heart is hidden in God. A friend of mine has a motto for this, “be such a woman of God that a man of God has to search the heart of God to find you”. Good stuff.
The challenge comes in that this world tries to castrate a man, and reduce the battle to a series of meetings, or worse yet a vicarious battle lived out on college football fields during the fall. It cuts the adventure out of life by way of insurance policies, financial planning, trying to live the American Dream, and by being risk averse. Living “safely”. And worst of all is that it gives us a false perception of what beauty really is, and how we should respond to it. Beauty is there to invite and encourage strength. But it is not primarily physical beauty that does this, it is the beauty of the spirit, when you look into someone’s eyes and recognize the Spirit of God. When there is a connection that is more primal, more basic, more real than what we’re used to knowing. A heart that is tender and willing to be in the Battle with you, fight along side of you. One that shares the vision, the dream, and is praying right along with you. Does this even exist? A lot of men get lost here and die along the way. That’s part of the battle.
I think the proverbial mid-life crisis is partly due to a recognition, on some level, of these facts. Some men check out, afraid to contend for the prize. Some become good “churchmen”, and think therefore the battle has been won. Others think that by chasing the golden-haired woman, obtaining a trophy wife, they will be validated and “arrive”. Hey, Eve has her own problems, and does not want to “be” the adventure, she wants to be in it with you. But there are some women who are happy enough to validate you in some inappropriate way, to whisper in your ear what you should only hear from God.
What is all of this about? I don’t know, Merlot has loosened my tongue. The events of the last month have confirmed that my marriage is all but over, and that my wife has settled for living with me as a matter of convenience and financial security. I am confused, and having mixed emotions over this. I am concerned for my chidren, and even for her.
But I am struggling, really scraping bottom right now.
I am going to an Inner Healing encounter in late April, then immediately after going to WAH Heart Bootcamp in May 08.
I always had an interest in monasticism, not that I wanted to be a monk, but to understand what could motivate someone to that kind of solitary, ascetic, harsh devotion.
Now it has dawned upon me that my existence looks a lot like an imposed monasticism.
So, Merton anyone? Or Merlot? 😉