I find myself distracted now, more than ever, as a 41-year-old Christ-Follower, husband, dad, friend, and leader. As I experience stress at home and work while trying to balance my responsibilities, my first response is frustration and anger. I am frustrated that I fail at spiritual disciplines, frustrated that I sometimes say inconsiderate things as I relate to my wife and kids, frustrated that the spiritual highs I experience at various times dwindle back to the reality that I am a sinner broken and needy. Frustrated because I know in my heart that on my own, I am not good enough, smart enough or strong enough to be what my wife needs, my kids need or who my Lord wants me to be.
I am frustrated because I cannot control the world around me. I pray for help, and I have found some help…in studying Scripture, praying, and meeting with other Christ-following men on a regular basis.
I have found that as I live life with other Christ-following men, I am encouraged and challenged. I am encouraged not only by friendship but by their example. I am challenged because I have men I can trust who have the ability to see my blind spots, men who will pray for me. Men who, when studying together, can point out areas of improvement I may miss; men who can share my burdens and whose burdens I can share. Men who are willing to get up at 6:00 am each week to invest in, and be invested in by, other men.
I know the enemy exploits my distractions. When meeting in my Men’s small group, I am reminded of 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” ~ Tim McHargue