This reflection might seem a bit odd, to some of you but I think the reason that it happened was because God knew I needed time to process what I had been experiencing. In fact I didn’t even realize this had happened until I was talking to a good friend of mine right before spring break during my second semester. But when I got back to Sterling God pulled me out of everything. As I said in my last reflection, I wasn’t going to be involved in Kids Club anymore, my Sunday School class was taken over and a lot of my friendships just dissolved.
Like I said, it sounds odd to say that God pulled me out of everything and that’s the only way I can explain it. Out of kids club, out of some of my friendships, out of teaching Sunday School, out of everything. Then he took away the desire to form new relationships with anyone except the students I’d be mentoring through the Foundations Class.
It was extremely odd to me, instead of being ever active I now had a lot of time to myself. A lot of time to apply the spiritual disciplines I had been learning so much about over the summer. Instead of being everything to everyone at all times I started spending a lot of time with just my roommate and one of my close friends.
It was funny though, because while those friendships weren’t there anymore, when God started to put me back into them there didn’t seem to be any issues with the fact that I’d been absent. The purpose behind this pulling out wasn’t clear to me at first, but it had to come clear at some point or another.
The point became very clear to me a few weeks into the semester. I was different, I had just gone through this radical change of heart and spirit and I couldn’t spend a lot of time with the people I’d spent so much time with. It wasn’t them, it was literally me, I needed to get to know and minister the guys in my dorm, instead of spending a lot of time with girls I needed to become a light in my dorm and work out my own schedule so that I could be available as needed.
This was something I’d always struggled with, I’d never put much stock in brotherhood. In fact even when I was a prayer leader freshmen year I spent most of my time in my room hiding from people or with a girl who eventually got sick and tired of me. I had no close friendships with anyone other than my second roommate and then we spent most of our time with women.
When I came back I knew I couldn’t do that. I started taking long walks with my roommate and later another close brother. Talking about anything and everything, our interests and general, “I’ve lived with you but don’t know you,” information. We learned what God was doing in each other’s lives and how best to encourage one another.
Through this I learned that as Christian men we have to have friendships with other men. It was also during this time that I stopped running away from David Tank who would later become a member of the 10:31 Life Ministries leadership team.
For men, finding other men who are strong in the Lord is essential. I never realized this until God pulled me out of all but a few of my relationships with women. Until the women at DUS weren’t entirely accepting of me while the guys were and until God started to radically change my perspective.
If we are to be men of honor and integrity we must seek out the council of other men and allow God to use them to teach us. Because of God pulling me out and having so much time I was able to get to know my brother and roommate a lot better. They became brothers and then God used them to encourage and guide me as I was exploring this new heart posture I’d been given.
If I have any encouragement for you it’s to go out and seek friendships with other men. To find that community and manhood starts and is encouraged by seeking out the men around us, getting to know them and watching how they treat their sisters in Christ, for the ladies reading this encouraging the men in your life to band together will help them greatly.
And may God lead you as men in the way that you should choose
God Bless You
10:31 Life Ministries
“Who is the man who fears the Lord
Him will He instruct in the way he should choose”
Summer Reflections Series
Reflection #1: Re-Entry
Reflection #2: Pulled Out
Reflection #3: Focus Change
Reflection #4: Set Apart
Reflection #5: Spirit Thing
Reflection #6: Science and Christianity
Reflection #7: Texas Sweet Tea
Reflection #8: Books & Books
Reflection #9: Bearing Burdens
Reflection #10: Heading Home