14 men chose to engage in a spiritual workout this morning at the Rise & Shine Diner and it went something like this…
Motown fired up the discussion on “Lesson #7: Don’t Make Life So Damn Complicated” by asking the question, “What makes our lives complicated?” The PAX engaged the question in one large group and pulled no punches.
Motown shared from the “Seven Lessons in Manliness from the Greatest Generation” study we have been considering:
If there is a common thread in these lessons, it’s having a common sense and a level-headed approach to life. The Greatest Generation’s uncomplicated approach to life is refreshing. They didn’t go on a diet, they simply at whole food; they didn’t exercise, they worked around the house; they didn’t obsess about their relationships, they just found a gal they loved and married her. They didn’t think about how to get things done, they just got em’ done.
The PAX threw down comments and questions about this quote and dialogued about how it applies to our lives today as men.
Motown pointed us to two Bible passages:
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
The PAX then wrestled with this content in one large group discussion. Motown finished up the main part with a reading from a devotion that spoke to the themes of the morning.
Namerama, Numberama and Motown took us out in prayer.
The DaVille PAX have been firing up the physical workouts and the call to arms has gone out to fire up the spiritual ones as well. I was asked this past weekend, “How is The Shining different than a Bible study?” I would say that this 3rd F gathering is different because the men are truly looking to push and sharpen each other through raw, honest dialogue and resulting action steps. The goal of this 3rd F gathering (and future ones!) is to propel men to ACTION. Most Bible studies can stay in the HEAD but not move to the HEART and then to the HANDS (aka action!).
Motown asked, “What makes life complicated?” and the PAX shared about the endless struggle of keeping up with life in a 24 hour, device-driven world. The pace of life can suck the life out of us as we seek to MAN UP and lead. We talked openly about our struggles with our PRIDE, EGO and COMPETITIVENESS. We focused on what motivates us as men and how competition can turn into pride. This pride can drive us to work in a manner that breeds anxiety, stress and worry when we don’t know how things will turn out (even though everyone expects us to know this).
We then focused on what motivates us. Is the motivation to get better for excellence or to get better to BE BETTER than someone else? If the motivation is the latter, then we will be in an endless competition that will feed our pride if we ‘succeed’ or destroy our self-worth if we ‘fail’.
The discussion turned to the words of Jesus and his call to “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and everything else will be given to you as well.” Where is our focus? Is it vertical (trusting God and serving Him for excellence)? Is it horizontal (competing with others to be better)? If we focus on the vertical then we can experience freedom, joy and strength.
Life is a “you vs. you” workout where God is our true Q and He is the one that should be following!
We can build “spiritual strength” (not just physical strength) as we exercise our faith through seeking to live out our God-given purpose in this world. These spiritual workouts give us a renewed perspective on our days and send us out into the world to take ACTION.
A big THANK YOU to the men for stepping into this “you vs. you” spiritual workout this morning. Let’s go out and live with a vertical mindset so that we can more positively impact our horizontal relationships with every person we encounter!
The Carpenter (summarizing the good work of MoTown who Q’d this spiritual workout)