Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cowboys and Rangers

I went to two Texas Rangers games last weekend. On Saturday, the Rangers honored all the district Teachers of the Year. I was the secondary T.O.Y. for my school district. I had the honor of meeting Nolan Ryan. That was pretty cool.

On Sunday, I went to a game with my oldest son, a friend from church, and his son. It was my son's first professional baseball game of his life. I, myself, hadn't been to a baseball game in almost 20 years. We had a great time together.

I never realized how close Cowboy Stadium and Ranger Stadium were to each other ever since the Cowboys moved to Arlington. But that stuck in my head: Cowboys and Rangers.

Fast forward to this morning when I went to the men's breakfast at my church. It was a great time of fellowship.

After breakfast, pastor Gary spoke to a couple hundred or so of us about the masculine journey. He drew upon the insights found in John Eldredge's latest book The Way of the Wild Heart. In the book, Eldredge identifies six stages of manhood that men go through—from Boyhood to Sage. At each stage there is something that a man ideally should "get" if he wants to successfully move to the next stage. Gary commented that if something happens to derail a man at one of the earlier stages, it will cause him problems in the later stages.

In the second stage (approx. 13-20 years of age), the overarching question of a man is "do I have what it takes?" Eldredge calls this the "Cowboy/Ranger" stage. At this stage, a man learns to have confidence in his abilities. When Gary spoke about this stage and when the title to the powerpoint came on the large screen, I sensed God speaking to me. I had missed some key elements at this stage. For years, I've struggled with an underlying sense of doubting if I have what it takes. That sense negatively affected me in my years as a pastor. And in many ways, it hinders me from stepping out into the fullness of what God has for me now. Having just been to where the Cowboys and Rangers play, God was showing me that part of the reason for Him bringing me to Dallas was to give me what I had been missing from the Cowboy/Ranger stage of manhood.

It's a sad feeling knowing that you missed out on something earlier on in life, but I'm glad my heavenly Father is with me and I know He will do a good work in me for His glory.


Anonymous,  November 3, 2009 at 12:01 PM  

nolan ryan, he was my boyhood idol. that is cool!!! glad you enjoyed some father-son time.

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