Could anything be better?
There I was, sitting in a gorgeous Ranger boat on a pristine North Wood’s lake accompanied by a good friend and two beautiful women (one was mine!). Two walleyes were already swimming in the live well, but that’s where this idyllic story ends. Reaching for a loose bobber, I suddenly lost my balance, then my pole, and then my dignity as headfirst into the frigid waters I went.
Many profound thoughts went through my mind as I pulled my sopping-wet-self back into the boat as quickly as possible. For my wife, the name of the lake said it all. Are you ready for this? Dumbbell Lake. She still thinks it’s hilarious. For me, it’s a permanent reminder of the importance of maintaining balance in a boat (especially one with short sidewalls!) and in life.
Is there anything more unnerving than the sensation of being out of balance and unable to reestablish equilibrium? Perhaps that is why so many men are becoming undone (or done in!) by life these days.
Simply put, life is so often out of whack. For many men, work controls the shots, either by personal ambition or a boss’s demands. For others, life is all about the latest toys (the more expensive the better!). Family or not, weekends are for play or working on that dream machine. Surfing the net consumes many guys. For others, its sports 24/7, be it their own or their children’s endless athletic pursuits. So why wouldn’t there be fights with “the wife” over family finances and schedules?
To a life already spinning off kilter, headlines of the latest international firestorm or a new stack of bills push us ever closer to a tipping point. Even the well-intended God-talk of the preacher can torture an already tormented conscience. No wonder the temptations for immoral self-indulgence and addictive escapes challenge even the strongest.
Life out of balance is a life not well (or happily) lived. Guilt, worry, and fatigue displace sleep. Arguments with loved ones chase laughter away from the few meals that are shared. And just like that, we’re falling headlong into a cold lake! Out of balance and out of control, we have a lot more to lose than our $50 fishing rig.
Enter Jesus. Fully human (and still fully God), he was tempted in every way like you and me (Hebrews 4:15). Crowds pushed and political enemies pulled. And yet there was always balance, from his youth up. Luke 2:52 summarizes his “4D” development this way: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Mental. Physical. Spiritual. Social.
Can a “4D Jesus” really work as a paradigm for finding balance in our everyday lives? Let’s talk about it at Men’s Retreat this fall (September 16-18). The new “Ted Talks” format (12 speakers, 12 minutes each) will allow us to touch each of the four areas of our Master’s growth with three get-to-the-point presentations. Save the dates and plan to join us.
And now for the rest of story. The “dumbbell” kept on fishing, wet clothes and all. And truth be told, he caught three of the five walleyes we enjoyed for dinner that evening.