A friend and I often joke about being the “last man standing”. Such humour encourages and extra day’s growth on the beard, a 2nd helping of meat, and an unwillingness to part with the red and black lumber jacket from my college days. (It still fits!) I left a local department store in disgust after seeing Tommy or Ralph trying to push pink shorts as part of the Men’s 2013 Spring Collection . Now we all have different barometers of manliness. Some hit it hard at the gym others keep score by riding a Harley, it’s really cool when you do both. Regardless, I just can’t get that phrase, “Last Man Standing” out of my head.
We’re told to, stand and deliver, stand on your own two feet and stand up for yourself. Is it always time for a real man to stand? When and what does he stand for?
Well, maybe he stands to reach for that shower gift stuffed in the back of the cupboard when its giver comes over for a visit.
He stands in a crowded subway, partly to give the sweet old lady a place to sit but mostly for the challenge of maintaining balance as the train car rocks back and forth.
He stands when there’s an audible bump heard in the middle of the night and neither of you are sure if the front door was locked.
He stands for truth in his home. Even if means being unpopular with the kids for a while. Even when the Truth exposes his own sin and it demands that he do something about it.
A real man can also be found on his knees…
bending down and taking the time to communicate eye to eye with a child needing Daddy’s love and instruction.
Most of us had the good sense to take a knee when we asked our wives to marry us. A friend of mine took it a step further. Shortly after getting married he returned to his knees with a towel and some water and proceeded to wash the feet of his bride in same way Jesus did long ago. Surely one of the last men standing will also spent time on his knees, not only seeking God’s best for himself and his family but also in serving them.
Standing, for sure! On his knees, I get it. What about laying down?
You know what it means to “lay down”. It means you’ve given up—thrown in the towel. Not very manly.
My girls have tall beds. When they were small I’d offer them the “daddy stool”. I would lay down flat on my stomach and the girls would climb on my back. When they cried, “up daddy stool”, I’d push up and make it possible for them to get into bed. It was cute and fun five years ago, and now it has the potential to fund my chiropractor’s retirement.
I think of the parts of myself that I’ve had to “lay down” in order to experience something greater. I’ve laid down interests like coaching baseball or getting a master’s degree because they simply take too much time. Stephen Covey warns that the enemy of the “best” is the “good”. There’s a lie out there that there’s something better than God’s plan for us and it cons us into settling for less and holding onto our junk.
Men, go out this week and be one of the last men standing for truth, kneeling to serve, and laying down those things that inhibit the best from flooding into your home. And for heaven’s sake, don’t wear the $85 pink shorts.