I’m sure my regular readers will understand: On the one hand, there are no words for it. On the other hand, I can try to indicate something about this so you can share in my portion of sweet shalom from the Lord.
We should not aspire to what we are not. Our society ignores the Creator and posits a completely false approach to deciding what is and is not beneficial in our world. It’s not a question what’s possible or likely, but what places us in the shadow of God’s love. One of the most dangerous moral distractions is a cultural bias in favor of things that only Satan has to offer.
A critical element in Western heritage is the Myth of the Great Man. While there are some dilettantes declaiming this thing, they aren’t really leaving behind their Western biases; they are simply switching from serving thuggish Odin to the devious Oester, as if there were no other choices. The only true escape is recognizing the moral and intellectual sewer you are in and climbing out. Western Civilization teaches us that certain things are inherently noble and that we should aspire to them, and that anything else is something less.
Don’t buy the false dichotomy. Those aspirations are not necessarily noble, and when they are, Western biases don’t understand why. Don’t allow someone else to establish an a priori standard and goad you into ambition for it. Even when they don’t define the final goal in concrete terms, these priests of heathen social religion demand that you aspire to some high place — but a high place only within the structure they promote.
First, let’s pull down this demented occupation fortress. There are all kinds of models we can use to discuss this. Such is the nature of parabolic language and the moral logic behind it. We give the brain something it can handle, a structure it recognizes, so that it can obey the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit written as conviction in the heart. It requires this approach to properly understand the thing we attack, as well as understanding what we use to build something better.
In the cultural background of the Bible, we see the ultimate symbol of manhood is the shepherd. This ancient culture recognizes that men can be lazy, but there is actually a moral blessing from a certain reluctance to take control over others. Who am I to decide things for you? Yet the same moral question learns to accept when God places that burden on your shoulders. God is your ultimate sovereign; He makes the assignments based on His own interests. But because He is Creator of all things, His interests are, by definition, always in our best interest. God appoints some men to shepherd bigger flocks than other, but the difference has nothing to do with who is greater or lesser. Some flocks require more work than others because of multiple varying contextual factors, not just numerical size.
Greatness is not in the details of the assignment, but faithfulness in any assignment. This is not a dick-waving of breast-flashing competition. Whatever God grants you is perfect for your mission, and your mission is perfect for you. Do you know your mission?
I am the Second Man.
God didn’t call me to be the leader, the front man, the focus of everyone’s attention for fame and fortune and personal fulfillment. I’m that guy’s executive officer. Or maybe I’m his butler, his driver, his personal servant, or whatever it is that makes it possible for him to do his job. It’s not that I can’t lead, but that my whole mission in life is to support someone else’s leadership. Not a mere yes-boy, but someone who also reminds the leader of the moral necessities so that no one manipulates him.
Does this explain why I’m so hands-off about your personal life? This whole ministry seeks to put you in the driver’s seat. I’ll give you my moral assessment of things structurally, but I won’t make decisions for you. I’ll help you execute your decisions. Granted, my own limitations could mean that my best support is simply staying out of the way. That’s why I keep a loose grip on the connection between you and I. If I can’t help you, I surely won’t hinder you. So it’s entirely natural that we’ve had active participants who come and go, and only a very few who remain long term.
And the last thing I want to see is some kind of goofy movement take off. Can’t you see a bunch of flyers posted at your local church? Can you envision workbooks and videos presented at “Second Man” conferences?
The whole point is that, however much we might share, no two of us are alike. And no two of us arrive as the same talent for talking about it. Sure, I need support, too. I’m blessed that some of you post “likes” and make occasional comments. I’ll accept your encouragement gladly. But my calling is to offer whatever I have to help you discover your calling. I’m your Second Man.