I worked with teenagers for several years. It was the best of times and the worst of times. I was tasked with taking teenagers to summer camp. Predictably, the adrenaline would be bubble over on night one, and they would stay up way too late. The morning of the second day was like a scene from The Walking Dead. I would often go into drill instructor mode and "encourage" them to do some burpees to wake them up. You can cut me some slack. Have you ever tried to motivate a teenage zombie!?!
Anyone who has been around teenagers knows that they need constant coaxing. The hormone-infused fight for autonomy is like trying to tame a bull in the streets of Pamplona, Spain. This is an exaggeration, but you get the analogy.
Youthfulness needs mature guidance and motivation to have a productive life.
Some grown men still live like teenagers. Needing someone else to motivate them and get them to do what they already know they need to do.
“Ours is an age of envy, in which laziness and self-involvement are the rule.”
Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette,
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
Notice how Paul instructs Timothy to deal with the hardship of the gospel work.
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:3-7, NIV84
Good soldiers, athletes, and farmers have this in common. They work hard. They have a goal, and they don’t wait for someone else to make that happen. They stand up and step into the task at hand. At some point, a man must leave boyhood thinking and stop relying on other people to motivate him.
- Embrace your God-given role as a man, husband, father, or grandfather.
- Do the work of being a man.
- Get going. Get involved.
(By the way, the teenagers started looking forward to early morning workouts. Never underestimate the value of discipline and hard work.)
Find your motivation.
Be a better man.