Tuesday, April 1, 2014

male vs. Man

I recently had the opportunity to deliver a non-denominational sermon to about 300 boys at a boy scout camp out retreat. I decided to speak about the differences between being a male and a Man. Unfortunately, I had to leave early so I had my friend George Holder read what I had prepared instead. After he had delivered the sermon, he sent me this message.

"Hey man just thought I'd let you know that after I read out your speech today, I had like 4 leaders come up to me whilst tidying camp to say how inspiring it was and how it was the perfect message for their scouts. One even said did I mind if he used it as a model for a speech he could use for something. Either way really good job mate and thought I'd pass back the feedback"

This meant a lot to me as I was worried about how the sermon would be received. Because it seemed to be received so well I would like to share it with all of you. So, here it is!

Good [time of day] everyone. I would like to begin this day with a poem by Rudyard Kipling about manhood.

If you can keep your head when all about you  
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;  
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;  
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,  
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,  
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,  
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Being a male and being a man are not mutually inclusive. As you go through life it is important to realize that you are born male, but you must earn the title of Man. This is done through your actions. A Man keeps his cool in the face of adversary. A male allows his anger to dictate. When a Man falls down, he faces his failure head on. Eyes bright with determination, he stands up in spite of the odds and tries again. A male sits in the dirt and says, “it wasn’t worth the effort anyway”. A Man risks his heart, his life, and wealth on opportunities that come his way. A male flees from risk and grips his wealth in a white-knuckled grip. A Man is kind to everyone, yet commands respect from even the most powerful of people. A male looks down on those beneath him, and will do anything for those above him. A Man remains strong and healthy physically and mentally. He keeps his body and mind prepared for anything that may come his way. A male allows himself to become sedentary and complacent; he becomes lazy in both body and mind. A male is unprepared when life comes his way and knocks him to the ground. A Man walks to his side, looks down at him, and extends a helping hand his way. There is a story that exemplifies what a Man is perfectly. Thousands of years ago, a man was walking down the road away from his village. Suddenly, he was ambushed by a group of thieves who robbed him and beat him within an inch of his life before leaving him for dead. As the man lay on the side of the road, desperately hoping for help, a rabbi came walking by. Upon seeing the beaten man, the rabbi turned his head the other way and continued on, too busy to stop and help. Next, another man came walking down the road. He too turned his head away from the hurt man and continued on his way. Finally, a Samaritan came walking down the road. Now, at this time, Samaritans were hated. They were seen as immoral, dirty people and the Samaritans new good and well that this was their reputation. As he moved closer, the Samaritan man saw the beaten man. He knew that if their positions had been reversed, he would have received no help. In spite of this, the Samaritan man stopped, helped the beaten man up, took him back into the village, and purchased a room in an inn for the man to stay until he recovered. Please join me in prayer.

Dear God, thank you for this beautiful day for us to enjoy. As we walk through life, please guide us in our words and our actions. Help us remember to live like the Samaritan man did. Help us to control our emotions, take advantage of the opportunities you provide, strengthen our bodies and minds, help people in need no matter what, and never, ever give up. Amen.

Now, go out and earn the title of a Man, men!
Thank you.

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