Gird your Loins
Mine and Rebecca's anniversary is this weekend (Aug. 26). "First year down, and I remembered. I think I'm doing well." I am looking back at the last year of our lives together. We were married, brought our two families together, and had a baby. We moved into a beautiful home together. A lot has happened in the last year.
I'm looking at myself as well, a little introspection. I have learned, and am still learning, how to be a father and husband. This may seem obvious to many of you, but I am learning my life is no longer my own. Saying it, planning for it, and living it are very different.
My heroes growing up were cowboys. They were stoic, bold, and got the job done. In the bible, my favorite books were I and II Samuel. That's where the warriors were. The bloodiest and most amazing battles happened through the reign of Saul and David. The annals of David's Mighty Men are heroic stories of his warriors in battle (2 Samuel 23).
The Bible describes someone preparing for battle by 'girding their loins'. Elijah girded his loins so he could run before Ahab (1Kings 18:46).
"Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me (Job 38:3)."
Girding of the loins is a preparation for action. In those days they wore robes and needed to pull them up into their girdle or the belt/sash around their waist in order to run and move freely.
In football, my coach would tell us to dig down deep when we were exhausted and thought we had nothing left. It was then, we learned what we were made of. We learned we could go father than we thought. We could push our bodies beyond the impossible. I learned I could always go a little further. My will was more powerful than my body.
"Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plum, mad-dog mean. Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." --Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood)
I learned to be mean, mad-dog mean, with myself. My body didn't want to move, my lungs were going to explode, and my legs were weak. This is when my will and heart commanded my body to obey.
My life is no longer my own. It is not I, but we. It is not mine, but ours. This means I must do things that are not always comfortable or easy. I schedule my day with the family in mind. When I go inside a filling-station, I don't just grab a drink or snack for me, I think of who is with me. I think of my wife and what she would like when I get home.
I can never find a comb anymore, because others use it too. I know I put the nail clippers away, but they are missing. I find them on the couch. I forget to put things away, and I hear about it. Drive-thru has become a lesson in patience with seven people in the car and a baby crying. Dad, I now understand.
Being a father and husband requires fortitude. I am no longer a child to whine about missing nail clippers. I have a job to do. There is little time to sit and binge watch 'The Office.' There is no time to binge watch anything. Lawns need mowed, plumbing needs fixed, garages need cleaned, bicycles need tires, skinned knees need band-aids, and the family needs a father and husband.
The need to be right is gone . . . my wife will probably disagree. But, I often think of how I have changed. My wife is my rock. We are the foundation for the family. All of this works because she and I work. This means we shoulder the load together. I have never experienced such fullness and joy as when Rebecca and I kill the day. When we have communicated all day, running the kids around, finishing errands, cleaning, kids complete chore list, and the baby sleeps.
I saw a t-shirt that said, "I produce legends." I loved it. As parents our jobs are to protect, discipline, and educate. We are making legends. Each new morning I tell myself, "Gird your loins."
"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." --John Wayne
It's not easy. Some of us need to grow up. We need to learn to reach down and gird our loins. Life demands a lot of us, but sometimes we need to be told to, "Buck up buttercup."
"Gird your loins."
In His service and yours,