Posts Tagged ‘wild at heart’

There are core desires planted deep in the heart of every man. From the Amazon to Parliament, from the academy to the factory, these desires are universal, true for every man. And they are essential in order to live life as a man; they provide the power for his life. Misplaced, forgotten, or misdirected, they do not go away; they go underground and surface later in anger, addiction, compulsion. You pay a high price when you neglect these desires.

A Battle to Fight

Every boy knows he is made for battle, and he longs to be the mighty hero. Give him a cape, a sword, a light saber and he comes alive in a world of Jedi knights, superheroes, snowball fights, and “what can we blow up next?” But of course—man is made in the image of a Warrior God: “The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is his name” (Exodus 15:3). God himself is a warrior. And we are made to be like him. Thus every man needs a battle to fight. But in order to fight for his life, his dreams, his integrity, a man must get his heart back as a warrior.


An Adventure to Live

Ask men about the greatest moments in their lives—moments they felt truly alive. They will always tell stories of adventure. That motorcycle trip to Burma, rafting the Colorado, a night on the open sea. That’s why the heart of a man slowly dies when chained to a desk, an assembly line, or a cell phone. And that’s also why every time God gets hold of a man in the biblical record, he takes him into high stakes adventure. Abraham, Moses, David; Peter, Matthew, Paul—all swept up into great adventures by the wild design of God. Christianity is not an invitation to be a really nice guy; it is an invitation into a Larger Story in which you play a decisive role.

A Beauty to Rescue

Part of the adventure and battle that men have is to search for the beautiful. In the wild this means the beauty of the wide open spaces, the high majestic mountains, the frosty valley floor with the raging river bringing life, or the grandest canyon. These are beautiful places, but they point to something even more beautiful, even more open, majestic, life giving and grand. They point to the Creator – God. The ultimate and eternal beautiful. One of the things that has been stolen from us is the beautiful and what it represents. Learning to fight for beauty and what it represents is not only one of man’s core passions, it is one of life’s greatest purposes.

May you this week realise that your heart is good and that God has placed eternity it for a reason. Your job is to find out the desires God has also placed there and, with God’s help, activate them. This is true for men and women.

Wild at Heart

Wild the adventure
True to the man
Large is the story
Of oceans and lands

Battle to fight
True to the man
The war is not his
God holds the plan

Beauty to rescue
In nature behold
The tapestry of life
As it slowly unfolds

The heart of man
Good the design
Eternal the hope
In the fullness of time

Content adapted from John Eldredge


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Today’s slightly longer post follows on from last weeks reflection on The Poser. Most of the material for this comes from the book, Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge. A great read.

Am I Good Enough?

John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart, suggests that two questions that most men seek answers to are, “Am I good enough?”, and “Do I have what it takes?”. The answers to these can generally only come from their father who provides the places and moments to answer these questions.

A boy’s passage into manhood involves many of those moments. The father’s role is to arrange for them, invite his boy into them, keep his eye out for the moment the question arises and then speak into his son’s heart yes, you are. You have what it takes. And that is why the deepest wound is always given by the father.

The Wound

The wound is inevitable, necessary and the wound hurts. Some fathers give a wound, merely by their silence; they are present, yet at the very same time, absent to their sons. The silence is deafening.

Imagine how Jesus, felt at that moment on the Cross when God, the Father, was silent.

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice ‘Eloi, Eloi, lamasabachthani?’ — which means, ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:45-46 NIV)

Even Jesus received a wound from His Father — and felt the pain of what it was like to be without the Father at a critical moment. Even with what Jesus felt and experienced, the bible reminds us of what was done for us, as sinners – by the sacrifice of a man taking on the wounds.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV)

As men, created in the image of God — we are subject to the wounds which we receive and, paradoxically, can only be healed by the sacrifice of what Jesus did in taking the wounds — our wounds, my wounds, all the wounds.

The assault wounds are like a shotgun blast to the chest, Eldredge says. This can get unspeakably evil when it involves physical, sexual, or verbal abuse carried on for years. Without some kind of help, many men never recover. One thing about assault wounds — they are obvious. The passive wounds are not; they are pernicious, like a cancer. Because they are subtle, they often go unrecognized as wounds and therefore are actually more difficult to heal.

And so it has gone, men to men, fathers to sons — the wounds are given, and the wounds are received.

The Wound’s Effect

So, as a man, what can I do with the wound?

All men carry a wound. Most know it’s there but don’t know what to do about it. Some ignore it, acting out of its pain across their entire lives. Others discover the wound, name it, and go forth towards a path of healing.

So there is no crossing through this country, of the landscape between being a boy and becoming a man, without taking a wound. And every wound, whether it’s assaultive or passive, delivers a message. The messages feels final and true, absolutely true, because it is delivered with such force. Our reaction to it shapes our personality in very significant ways. From that flows the false self. Most of the men you meet are living out a false self, a pose, which is directly related to his wound.

We have a choice as men — either overcompensate and become driven or violent, or shrink and become passive or retreating in our masculinity. It’s because of the wound — not because of being a man. But Eldredge warns us, “The wound comes, and with it a message. From that place a boy makes a vow, chooses a way of life that gives rise to the false self. At the core of it all is a deep uncertainty. The man doesn’t live from a center. So many men feel stuck — either paralyzed and unable to move, or unable to stop.

Take a moment as a man and ask yourself: “Do I have what it takes? Am I powerful? If you can’t — or won’t — answer these questions, it is time to ask yourself this one:

“Am I ready to go into battle to win the war for my heart?”

The wound will be in your way. But there is a way through


A wound that goes unacknowledged and unwept is a wound that cannot heal.
~ John Eldredge

Only when we enter our wound will we discover our true glory. As Robert Bly says, “Where a man’s wound is, that is where his genius will be.” There are two reasons for this. First, the wound was given in the place of your true strength, as an effort to take you out. Until you go there you are still posing, offering something more shallow and insubstantial. And therefore, second, it is out of your brokenness that you discover what you have to offer the community. The false self is never wholly false. Those gifts we’ve been using are often quite true about us, but we’ve used them to hide behind. We thought that the power of our life was in the golden bat, but the power is in us. When we begin to offer not merely our gifts but our true selves, that is when we become powerful.

May you discover the wound that holds you back from the life that God has for you. May you know the One who was wounded for you – to heal your wounds and your heart. All it takes is a prayer. Will you dare to go to this place and seek healing?

Walking Wounded

By my wound consumed with zeal20130430-202740.jpg
By your wounds I am healed

Abandoned by the world today
Rejected in all I do and say

My wound trails me like a shadow
As it hunts me with its bow and arrow

Beauty and affliction haunt me still
Shot through my heart, but by your will

Enter my wound and set me free
Heal my heart, while I face my fear

Through my wound, set me free
From your wounds upon that tree

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The Poser

In his book Wild at Heart author John Eldredge gives us a glimpse at Adam, the first man. Adam is hiding.

‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ (Gen. 3:10)

Eldredge says, “You don’t need a course in psychology to understand men…We are hiding, every last one of us. Well aware that we, too, are not what we are meant to be, desperately afraid of exposure, terrified of being seen for what we are and are not, we have run off into the bushes…Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a facade, an elaborate fig leaf, a brilliant disguise.” (p. 52)

So what about men? What are you hiding from?


Ask yourself this: “What words would I use to describe myself as a man? Are words like strong, passionate or dangerous words you would use? Would the description be more like, passive, quiet, hides behind his newspaper or iPad?

We men all have our heroes don’t we? The ones who we long to be like, the star rugby player, the successful businessman. We want to be the hero in the movie, we want to be Maximus in Gladiator, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, or Aragon from The Lord of the Rings.

There is a poser in each of us as men, that brilliant disguise, that “fig leaf,” is always in the way of the authentic masculinity that God hardwired into each of us.

The job of the poser is to take away something essential to the nature of being a man. It’s a mask, it’s a defence mechanism, it gets in the way of men discovering their true heart and the desires of their heart.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

So what’s your pose?

May you this week reflect and discover the masks that you wear. May you become aware of why you wear these. Ask God to expose your true self, and begin or continue to work with you to find your desires, the ones he has placed in your heart.

The Poser

How have I been hiding?
Where is it that I go?
Do you see me falling
Show me – I need to know

What is my role – my mission?
Give me eyes to see
Because those that I love to serve
Are right in front of me

Expose the lies I tell myself
That only serve to bind
Help me lower the masks
The ones I hide behind

And as we name these thick places
That have me trapped inside
Help me not to find more places
Where I’ll only run and hide

Jesus, only you can do this
I can’t do this on my own
Free, and save me from myself
Help me unlearn what I have known

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