Embracing the Glory
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Williamson)
When I first read this quote, I thought, No, that’s not true. We don’t fear our glory. We fear we are not glorious at all. We fear that at bottom, we are going to be revealed as . . . disappointments. Mandela is just trying to make a nice speech, like a sermon, to buoy us up for a day or two. But as I thought about it more, I realized we do fear our glory. We fear even heading this direction because, for one thing, it seems prideful. Now pride is a bad thing, to be sure, but it’s not prideful to embrace the truth that you bear the image of God. Paul says it brings glory to God. We walk in humility because we know it is a glory bestowed. It reflects something of the Lord’s glory.
(Waking the Dead , 87)
Books seem to have the most profound impact on my life. Especially when it comes to changing my mindset or the way I view the world around me. In recent years books like Driven by Eternity by John Bevere and Wild at Heart by John Eldredge have taken me from the brink of despair to a land full of hope and life. It’s hard not to understate how big of an impact these two books in particular have impacted me. Driven By Eternity helped me through a difficult time after my father’s death. And Wild at Heart helped me navigate the tricky time when a new love was blossoming by helping me to grow as a man, secure that I had what it takes to be a lover and a good husband. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not the books themselves or even the authors that change my life, but the Holy Spirit working through the book to reveal the truth.
I say all that so that when I say that this book rates right up there with these other life changing books, you’ll have a real sense of what that statement means to me. But it wasn’t just the book that had such a big impact it was the mighty men of God that took this journey with me. Every week we would gather to watch the DVD session for that week, and then sit around for a few hours discussing it. It was from these discussions that what we had just learned about became real. It wasn’t just theory anymore it was actively being applied to our daily lives, and that made it powerful.
The book is broken up into 3 parts, the first two chapters establish a foundation for why this type of book is so neeeded today in this mordern world. The next 8 chapters take us through the various stages of masculinity starting with boyhood to the cowboy to the warrior and lover next the king and finally the sage. Along the way each stage gets broken down in how God is trying to father us and then how the masculine heart can be wound. The last chapter is really a challenge, calling men out and given them the driver through which they will take this journey and that is by being intentional.
The book starts off describing itself as a map. A map of the masculine journey and in a world where what it means to be a man and where good fathers are so rare this book couldn’t be more important.
To read more about this book and others by John check out Ransomed Heart ministries.
I have a bunch of excuses, I’ve been busy at work, etc, but that’s all they really are. I listened to this podcast by John Eldredge last night before i fell asleep and realized that they were talking, at least to some extent, about me.