Thursday, May 22, 2014

Find your own "Heroic Path

Where did we lose our way? Manhood has been dummied down over the years until we no longer know what it looks like.  John Sowers wants to help us find the way back to the life we were called to live, to be the men that God created us to be. The path back looks different for everyone, but there are some similarities. Sowers paints a picture of his own heroic path and gives the rest of us plenty of ideas. The book is "The Heroic Path: In Search of the Masculine Heart"  And you want to read it; you really do want to read it.

You want to read it if your Dad is dead, or in prison, or you never knew him. You want to read it if your Dad is nearby and you know and love him. You want to read it if you are or might someday be a Dad. You want to read it, because it's up to you to help teach the next generation how to be the men that God has called them to be instead of the imitation men we see in the movies or the gang members, bank robbers, rapists and murderers, and dirtbags that we see on the evening news and read about in the newspaper.

Because as men, many of us have lost our way, and we need a map to help us get back on our own heroic path. We need a mentor, a guide, and we need direction. Many of us don't even know where to look for the map.  Lots of boys grow up to be men without having had a man in their life to follow and learn from.  There are lots of reasons, and lots of arguments for and against each of them, but the result is the same: adult males who never learned to be men, and so they still act like little boys and teach the next generation to do the same thing.

It doesn't affect just the individual - the lack of knowledge spills over and affects every area of a man's life: family, school, job, even his relationship with God. As Sowers puts it, the question we have to ask ourselves as men is simple: "How do we step out of the tea party and onto the treacherous path?"  It's time to put a stop to the idea that the way we build ourselves up is to beat others down.
Sowers hasn't just written a 'how to' or self-help book; he is telling his story, what happened, what the result was, and how he learned to make the necessary changes that will impact his family for generations.
I found myself coasting along, enjoying the read, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, bold truisms jump off the page and remind me that I don't have all the answers.  My story is different, but truth is truth and what's true for one of us, is true for all of us. (We don't always respond the same way, but it's still true).  You're reaching for your cup of coffee, and bam! "We disengage from life because we are afraid to fail."  "When Death smiles at you and you smile back, something changes." "We grow when we face ourselves."  "In our culture, there is a serious lack of elders."  "The men who live through confrontations exude quiet strength." "We must forgive our fathers." "We store pain for years in a buried rusty toolbox. We push through and pretend it doesn't matter."

"Heroic Path"  is more than just a cathartic writing, it's much more than a poignant memoir, it's more than a story of what life was like and what happened. This is a call to action for all the aging boys who are ready to grow up and learn what it is to be a man. Not just the macho he-man, but a man who accepts his responsibilities, and does the right thing, even when that right thing comes at a cost.

It's time to answer that call to action and become a part of the solution.


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