The voice of the father...

Last night I met with my "Wild at Heart" small group. Those are bittersweet times. We explored the wounds given to us by our fathers...something I have done several times in the last 7 years since discovering the power of the father in bestowing masculinity to the son. In many ways my father was a faithful and consistent voice of love in my life. In other ways, he was silent and passive when it came to validating me in areas of risk, adventure, strength and pursuing dreams. It has a direct effect on my life even today.

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed. I couldn't shake the voices I was hearing in my head. One of the predominent phrases I heard over over again was, "You're in over your head." It was like a record skipping over and over again in my mind. Other phrases accompanied it...

"You can't finish what you started."
"You have no business cracking open people's hearts."
"You're not equipped to handle what you're evoking."
"You're not who everyone thinks you are."

Another phrase that pounded in my head was "You're small town." I was transported to my upbringing and the humble beginnings of my childhood. I graduated in a class of three. I don't come from a long line of "power players". My past is simple and quaint, slow-moving and tempered, obscure and predictable. My present is opposite in almost every way. I'm engaged in things that surpass anything I've ever witnessed in the formidable years of my life. I don't have a great point of reference. I'm not sure that I believe in myself on some days.

The outside may appear poised and prepared, but on the inside, I would be lying if I didn't admit paralyzing fear. I feel like a house of cards waiting for the brush of a finger to cause an utter collapse. These voices that tell me I'm in over my head and that I'm a small town boy living in a big time world are believable.

The voice of a father is irreplaceable. Jesus even needed to hear from his dad when he was embarking on the great challenge of his earthly ministry. "This is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased." He walked from that moment into the crucible of the 40 days of temptation. I wonder how much he leaned into those words when he was hanging by a thread. Don't you notice how many times he said things like "I do only what my father is doing" and "my food is to do the will of my father who sent me" HIS FOOD. His very sustanance to live. His supply of energy and nourishment to meet the insurmountable tasks before him. "My father who sent me." We are all dying to feel "sent" by our dads...

Sent out to conquer impossible feats.
Sent out to defy the odds.
Sent out to stand in the face of defeat.
Sent out to overcome obstacles and opposition.
Sent out to discharge the duties of our calling.
Sent out to reverse the curse of Satan.
Sent out to affect change in our sphere of influence.
Sent out to make our fathers proud.

Some days I feel sent out by my father. Other days I feel like I'm on my own...feeling around in the dark for any shred of confidence and support. I think alot of men feel like they are left to themselves to piece together their lives.

I sometimes wonder if my own dad needs me to father him. I'm not sure his dad knew how to speak into his heart like Jesus' dad did. I'm not sure whether my father ever felt "sent" by his father. I don't know if my dad felt the nourishment and sustanance of his father's will giving him the will to press through difficulty. The will power of our fathers isn't always a very pleasant thing to lean into. It feels like we're a part of a generation of young men that are called to father our dads. Validating their strength. Pursuing their dreams. Asking questions of their hearts. Seeking to apply salve to their disabling wounds. I wonder if modern day sons are being called to father their dads. I just wonder.

I just know that when I hear the voices in my head telling me to back away and play it safe, I'm starving for my dad's voice to speak deeply into the abyss of my soul.

Proverbs 20:5 -- The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.

A man of understanding.

A man who goes--under--and--stands--there with their son.

I might be in over my head. I might be small town. I may not have what it takes to finish what I've started. But maybe there's something deeper inside me that I have yet to discover...a strength yet to be revealed. Maybe I'm more than what I think I am.

This is the question that John Eldredge says haunts every man...



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