Friday, November 2, 2007

The Stuff of a Man. . .

I search. . . I question. . . I pray. . .
Looking at my life. . .Who am I? Where am I going? What do I want to be when I grow up? So much I do not understand. What is a man? What is his purpose?

Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


God formed man. . . a common man, an earthy man. God did not create him a king or royalty. He created a down to earth basic man. . . a solid creature. . . after His own image. It was God's creation to do with what He wished. God could surely have made Adam a wonder to behold. . . upright and a model in every respect, but Adam fell short almost from the outset. We are not the first in our lineage to stumble, Adam was made of the dust:

1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man is of the earth, earthy:. . .


Earth is not homogeneous. . . Earth has variety. . .always recognizable, never confused for anything else, but still for its universality, coming in a bewildering spectrum of differing textures and colors. . .Earth a mixture, not purely any one thing. . . Earth is not finely sifted and smooth. . . a clump of earth will have stones and sticks, bits of grass. . .the organic and the inorganic. It must have a balance of moisture, too dry and it is mere sand, too wet and it is muck. . . Earth is made from tiny pieces of the mountains, but never found for long upon the summit. The places of earthiness are the valleys. For all our inorganic bits of mountaintop within us, we always gravitate to the valleys, the low estates, these are the places of growth. . . We are not little gods. We would be cast in some elaborate mold, and filled with a bright and shiny exquisitely rare metal if we were meant to be worshiped ourselves. No one worships mere earth. . . it is surely common and yet good earth is in its own right worthy and to be treasured.

Adam surely made mistakes. He had no earthly father as a mentor, as a friend. . .He had no role model, thrust into husbandhood, fatherhood. . . thrust into the role of a man with no knowledge of what that meant. Adam did not complain. He named all living creatures, but as a paradox, he without doubt had trouble naming the shadowy deeply emotional things within himself. God in His wisdom recognized that Adam was lonely. Like many of us. . .we live our lives always searching, questioning, praying. . .making missteps. . . stumbling. . . recovering. . . continuing on. . . living with our mistakes. . . living with our flaws. . . doing the best we can, with what we are. . .

Life does not spring forth from us. We surely participate, but it is in a theoretical and in a difficult to visualize sense. It does not define us. A woman is in many ways defined, often in her own mind, if only there, by what she has birthed. God created we men, with a hole, an emptiness completely through us. In many ways we are as an earthworm. We eat our way through life, our various hungers providing the motivation to crawl further forward every day. As men, in many negative ways, our hungers are so great that they actually turn upon us and at the last, attempt to consume us. Money, power, lust. . . our flesh wars with us continually. . . we battle and we maintain, not so much defined by our base appetites. Those are common to all. The greatest impact upon our lives is how and in what direction we choose to satisfy those needs. The jail where I minister is filled with men who chose the wrong trough at which to sate their cravings.

David hungered. There is no surprise in that. That is common to all earthy men, but David went not to the women who sang his praises:

1 Samuel 18:7
“ . . .and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”


David was a hero, but he had a deeper purpose. He surely could have easily knocked and asked and gotten bread at any of a multitude of pantry doors, but he chose not the profane, but the profound for his sustenance. He went to the house of God, asking of the priest, even placing himself in danger, making himself vulnerable in asking the priest to bend a rule:

1 Samuel 21:3-4
“. . .give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present. (4) And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread”


As men we hunger. That is a part of us. Being made in His image and a dim reflection of Him, therefore it must also be that God hungers passionately. . .His word surely speaks of that. There is no shame there. It is in our choice, of where we satisfy that hunger that defines our character. Where do we feed our hunger? The question of our lives is re-asked and re-answered over and over again every day in a multitude of ways, do we strive for the common fare or for the hallowed bread?

Encourage every man you meet to seek after the holy and to reject the common. Let us satisfy our hunger with manna, not mammon. . . We need to shout this message from one to another. . .Uplift your brother whether he admits to needing it or not. . . never stop. . .We need each other. . . We are brothers. . . we are men bound together by the blood of Jesus. . .

Another day. . .
Another battle. . .
Another question. . .
Another answer. . .

I love you God. . .

I love you all. . .

Dave Stokely

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