Welcome Men! You may have ended up here because of a relationship or an event. Either way, you’re not here by accident. You are here for such a time as this. More and more we are men looking for ways that will allow our faith to intersect with our everyday lives. What will we believe?
Several years ago I came to a point where I had to decide what I believed. My wife and I were in a tough spot.
The business we bought a year and a half earlier was tanking. After many attempts to cut expenses, the only way to keep things afloat was to stop paying my salary. This was a painful cut. My salary represented slightly more than half our income. Our savings had been spent on purchasing the business so there was no “safety pot” to dip into. Every month we were spiraling deeper and deeper in to unrecoverable debt.
Even though things were very difficult, I prided myself on my ability to “figure a way out”. If I worked harder, thought things through better, put out a better product—things would turn around. I just needed to apply myself more. The problem with this strategy though, was that it wasn’t working. Not even a little. I worked harder, beat my head against the problems more and produced the best I possibly could. None of it mattered. Our business was imploding and nothing I did was making any difference.
Toward the middle of July that summer I woke up at about 2am in a cold sweat. My heart was racing and my mind was not far behind. Looking back, I was clearly having a panic attack. All the realities of the situation were crashing down upon me. Brick-by-brick. Hauling myself out of bed I made it across the hall to our home office. For the next two hours I worked and reworked the numbers. I knew that if I just thought things through better I would find a solution. Two hours later the only thing I had managed to do was freak myself out more. I started crying. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t find a solution. By the end of July, we were going to be in the worst debt of our lives, with no discernable way out.
My crying was evidently louder than I realized, because shortly after my wife appeared around the corner. Embarrassed, I tried quickly to shut the computer and myself down. Knowing me better than that, she pressed into the situation.
“What’s wrong honey?” she asked. “Nothing. Let’s just go back to bed.” I said.
She wasn’t buying it. Being the amazing wife she is, she pressed the issue further.
“No. We are not going back to bed. Talk to me. What is wrong?”
I was so tired and so far at the end of my rope, I responded with as much honesty as I could muster, “We are in such huge trouble, and nothing I do matters. I can’t figure a way out of this.” My shoulders hunched forward and I sobbed. I couldn’t hold it in any more. The pain, the fear, the weight of providing for my family came pouring out. I was wrecked. I was at the end of myself.
She held me for a few moments, then quietly stated, “That’s OK. If you could figure it out, why would we need God?”
Wow. What a powerful question. With eleven words, she distilled my worries down to one issue:
“Do I trust in me and my abilities, or do I trust and believe in God and his promises?”
It is one thing to profess my trust in God. It’s quite another to live as if I actually believe Him. Shakespeare would say, “Therein lies the rub.” It is this intersection, the intersection of faith and life, where all of us live. Will we pay God lip service to His sovereignty and power, or will we take the dangerous step of giving him our lives and heart service?
This is the journey that we are undertaking. This is the challenge for all Men Who Believe. I hope you join us.
-Joel Thomas, Missional Communities Pastor