A Lesson Learned
As the windows rattled from the wind that was keeping the snow from settling on the road, my mother was begging me to stay home. She had a bad feeling about the weather, but from my eyes the roads were clear; and besides that, I had some place to be. With defiance in my eyes and invincibility in my heart, I walked out the door with a snow storm brewing.
As I had expected, the roads were good and first half of my trip was easy, but things changes a few hour later when I was driving home. The roads were full of snow, and the weather had changed so quickly that black ice had formed as a barrier to traction. Taking it slow and steady was the only option, and it was not enough. Less then five mins down the road I was standing outside driver side door of a sedan that I had hit head on. The woman driving was ok, but my heart was beating out of my chest.
The next phone call I made was to my mother.
Full of Passion and Needing Direction
The lessons I learned that day were learned the hard way. Had I been willing to listen I could have saved two cars, and a whole lot of heartache; but my young self was not willing to believe that the wisdom of others was more valuable than my plans and ability to carry them out. After that experience, my hard heart was a little softer toward my parent and wisdom they have to offer.
I wish I could say that from that moment on my attitude was different. There were other mistakes made, and others things broken. I was full of passion and confidence, but in need of direction. Young men have a tendency to be dumb, aggressive and clumsy; yet in them is a voraciousness that is valuable if funneled in God honoring ways.
Young men like me, and my sons after me, need mentors to keep our eyes on Christ. As faithful men walk alongside young men in the church, they offer an example for them in actions and faith.
To be clear, this responsibilities falls first on fathers. Fathers must put in the effort to know their boys, understand their hearts and give guidance by words and example. Boys trust their fathers and naturally follow them as long as they believe they are worth following.
Men of faith; here are three choices that you can make to help lead young men in their hope to become faithful men.
1) Step up: There is a shortage of men willing to lead. We can no longer be content with church attendance and feeling spiritually fed. We must step up. Be willing to step into the lives of the young men in our midst. Engage them in conversation, come alongside them and give them a reason to take their earbuds our of their ears.
2) Be Present and Available: Being present and available is about effort and rejecting distractions (This one is especially important to fathers). When you are with younger men, put your phone down and show interest. Ask questions and dig deep into their faith. When they have questions, you are able to field them when you are willing to be present and available.
3) Never give up: There are times when boys may seem like they are not listen or that they are beyond reaching. Even if it was true, we can never give up. Despairing over how lost they are will only serve seal the fate of another young man to walk alone. Never give up; fight back your pride, and handle your pain and pursue them until your last breath. God has called faithful men to sacrifice and lead.