It wasn’t too long ago, in the ages when our grandparents roamed the earth, that men knew how to be men and many a man did extraordinary things. Invented things. Discovered things. Fought in wars (at the age of 15,16 or 17). Explored the far reaches of the Earth. Tilled the land. Made things with mettle and brawn…and, some how, did it all without complaining. Lately, I have been so taken aback by ordinary men who accomplished unbelievable (by my generation’s standards) things. And why is this so non-existent in my day, with people my age?
I don’t really want to address the “why aren’t we?” of that last question, but more, “why don’t we…cuz it would be awesome!” I mean, let’s just talk about the sheer adventure of it all! What are the BENEFITS to building your own house or learning to garden or farm or raise animals…or what about going to the unreached people groups with the Gospel…the places where few fear to tread. The Explorer in me says, “I want to go THERE!” I don’t know, maybe it is that I have been reading too much Dr. Suess to the kids. You know, “Oh The Places You Will Go” and the mantra of the Lorax…”Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, the world won’t change, no it will not.” Or something to that affect. Great sayings, but few people actually DO anything like this.
Call me a nothing-new-under-the-sun kinda guy, but I think that it is good that every young man have a little Boy Scout in him, a little warrior that builds and goes trekking and wrestles a bear (ok, I’ll admit, that’s pretty out there…and awesome!). There is a sense of accomplishment and a fulfilling feeling to completing or creating something, which is in keeping with our Creator’s character. Yes, I am old school, I think that we need to bring back apprenticing and the teaching of trades or at least how to uses rudimentary tools and the skills to go with them. Men need to, at some point, go a week without a shower, learn how to make a fire, learn to construct a shelter out of found materials…fish, hunt, canoe, tie a knot, administer first-aid, chase a deer through the woods, find something like an arrowhead, shell, or fox skull…and then make something out of it. Tribal, I know.
I just want to curse to hell all this Mountain Dew-fed, video game-drenched, sleep in till noon, disrespectful to authority mentality that can barely use a microwave and simply can’t function without the Internet or a hand-held device to text on. Note, the mentality needs to be cursed…NOT the people. This is the next-gen of kids my heart breaks for because I know darn well that it is hard enough for people in their thirties (my age—shrug) to get a handle on this.
So, yes, this is the dumbing down and the drugging up. Everybody has ADHD. Nothing is ANYBODY’S fault. Everything is awesome (technologically) and no one is happy. What to do…what to do?
Giving your life to God is a great start. Actually live for something and don’t give up so easy. But, for starters, go outside. Learn how to live and do things. Sew. Run. Ride a bike. Read a real book from the library. Go on a hike and ask God to reveal Himself. Make something with your hands out of wood or metal or junk. Play an instrument…pick up a paint brush…hone a skill. God meant for us to learn and know and grow and effect the people around us and I think that we aren’t getting anywhere by ducking in line with the stagnant flow of modern culture.
So, here’s to effective, Spirit-guided counter-culture….
Go outside, get some fresh air, and live your life with your head up and your eyes filled with Light!