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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Self-Made Man Myth

This past weekend, I had the awesome of privilege of hanging out with a fine group of guys at the annul Pure Desire Men's Leadership Conference. I was impressed at the level of depth and transparency I saw going on around me as guys shared their stories with one another. This is so rare in our culture today!

These guys were living examples of how the cultural ideal of a "self-made" man is a myth that needs to be exposed. Some time ago, I wrote a short piece about this and thought I would put it out there again for your thoughts and encouragement. Here it is:

As "real men", we don’t need help, right? Ha! Think about this. The conditions of the universe had to be perfect, out of astronomical odds, for any of us to be here. The air we breath, the ground we build on and the temperature of our planet is uniquely designed to sustain life. What is more, two human beings you had never met or heard of came together and created you. Your mother carried you in her womb for 9 months, and a team of doctors and nurses carefully ushered you into life. At that moment you had been entirely dependent on someone else for everything in your life.

And then we grow up and leave others behind, right? Hardly! Every day you consume food that has been either carefully cultivated from the earth, or that required the DEATH of another being so you could eat. You get in a vehicle made by hundreds of people and robots in a factory in Detroit or Ohio, while driving on pavement installed by a dedicated construction crew. You wear clothes stitched by factory workers in China and sip coffee carefully grown by farmers in Costa Rica. You work at a job that in some way, shape or form is entirely dependent on others consuming whatever product you produce, even if you “run” the company, Without customers, there is no company. At the end of the day, you go home and engage in some sort of entertainment on devices built by others, shows acted by others, or sports performed by others.

In every area of our life, we are dependent on a network of others. So help is our way of life. From this perspective, is it so hard to see that God is underneath it all? And the help we MOST need is His. You see, I believe it would be foolish to rely on the help of so many others in our life but somehow think we don’t need the help of the One who created it all and loves us more than anyone ever can. Real men know this: that no on is self-made, only God-made. We can either embrace this truth and discover the grand life He has for us, or ignore it and be the weaker for it.

May you know that One today,