A strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction or divine influence – as defined by Webster’s

dictionary. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow, which can be done today – Abraham Lincoln Every calling is great when greatly pursued – Oliver Wendell Holmes The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership – Harvey S. Firestone quotes I was lucky enough to know exactly what I wanted to do when I was growing up. I think one of the hardest things to figure out in life is what your calling is, and what truly makes you happy – not what you want to work at, but what you want to do. – Scott Folley As we grow up most of us find something that’s appealing to us or speaks to us and we decide that is the thing we want to pursue. We make choices about being single or getting married, having families large or small, going to college or going to work, what kind of job or career we want to pursue and where we want to live. In my experience and with people I have come in contact with, little has to do with knowing what your calling is. What are we meant to do and be about? What have we been put on this earth for? Many men can’t even begin to contemplate this, they just keep going and doing the things everyone else has told them to do. There are those rare men who have been able to understand this follow their heart, passion and do what they were meant to do. For a large number of men today, this piece is missing. They find themselves going to school, working jobs, being husbands and fathers and behind all of it they are miserable. They are leading lives that just exist to get by. They have no joy or passion in their life and they have nothing to really live for that truly inspires them. It’s really sobering sight to see men like this and it makes me weep. If men who are supposed to be leaders have no clue as to what they are called to do, that leaves the rest of us in peril. I do believe men are called to be leaders in all areas of life. I believe this will all my heart. Men are the ones who need to step up and begin leading, but without knowing what they were designed for and a lack of passion for life, how is this possible. I believe it involves parents who are tuned into their kids, having conversations with them around their hopes; dreams and desires as well as where they see their child’s strengths, gifts and talents. Continually affirming and building on those things. Parents know what their kids do well and hopefully they use this in shaping and molding them in the right direction. I also believe it comes from others who are genuinely invested in their lives. Teachers, mentors, pastors, coaches, and friends; those who aren’t family members have the ability to speak into kids lives so they get a fuller sense of who they are and what they are capable of. For myself I know that I wanted to be a husband and father from a very young age. At the core of my being there was nothing else I desired more in life. I spent countless hours of my youth imagining what it would look like having a wife and children and how I would be as a dad. No one really gave me the message that I was valuable or that I possessed certain gifts or talents that would benefit me later on. I knew that when I got to that place in my life, it would be like achieving a gold medal in the Olympics. As life

came and obstacles got in the way I began to lose sight of this and felt it slipping from my hands. I began thinking it was never going to happen. By the time I actually got what I had most desired I was dealing with shame, hurt, anger and pain and not able to really give my best. Many years later after getting what I so desired I continued feeling I was missing more. I wasn’t comfortable with myself or who I was. I lived behind masks, trying to put on a good game face for those around me. Inside, miserable I kept doing all the things I believed I needed to do, what I was told were the right things to do and how I should act and behave. I always came back to feeling like that final piece to the jigsaw puzzle was missing in my life. I began reading books, going to counseling, getting real and honest about my life and evaluating myself in a harsh reality. That was when it finally hit me. I was expecting something larger and grander, I wanted to be this huge amazing “thing” outside of what I already was and I was filling my life with things that shouldn’t be there. Suddenly staring me in the face was what I had been called to do. I was called to be a Dad. I began peeling back layers of my life and I was able to see God had put everything in place so I could live out what I deeply desired all those years ago. I knew my calling from a very young age and now looking back I can see why I have been put through so much, it’s all been for the benefit of my family. I am not a great person, but I am able to do great and mighty things through being a father. This is my calling – I know it, accept it and I love it – even the hard times. Looking back at my life I realized all that I have been through happened for many reasons. I am not angry or upset it’s all been for a larger purpose. The truly sad part for me was knowing if someone had invested in me many years ago and walked me through all of it, I believe I would have been able to see it clearer a long time ago. Not to discount the process of getting there, that’s been a valuable experience. It’s also the reason I believe in mentoring and investing in men’s lives. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about my own son who is now 11 and want him to understand and realize that he is not alone. I will always have his back and I am fully invested in his life till my last breath leaves my body. That is the very reason I started writing Real Authentic Men articles and why I share them with my son and we have discussions about what it means to be a real man. I want my son to know he was wonderfully created by a God who loves him and placed into a family where he is loved more than he will ever imagine. He has gifts and abilities that have yet to be explored and I look forward to exploring those with him and allowing him to realize how amazing he is, what he was meant to do and confident in being a man. Using all of his skills, gifts and talents to lead as a man in whatever he does. The other part for me is that I know I have also been called to invest in the lives of other men, men who are still sitting there waiting for someone to come along and help them through the process. Men are valuable; they are not just some bumbling buffoons getting through life. We’re depicted in a poor light in the media and that is very sad, while there is a percentage of men who operate through life like that for many different reasons, the men whose lives I get to be involved in are not like this at all. The want to move past their hurts, pains, the things that hold them back and become men who don’t just sit by allowing life to pass them by. Men who live life to the fullest and live out what they have been called to do. Real authentic men know what their calling is and use it to impact the world around them. It doesn’t matter if you’re a janitor, president, married or single. Be the man, know

your calling, step up, lead the way and do so that those around you will be inspired to do the same.

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