Will I be great? Will they follow? Do I measure up? Will I fail? Will they respect me?
These are questions men ask themselves even while they are succeeding. It is a question that plagues us and fuels false bravado.
Am I ready to be great? Am I prepared to lead? Am I prepared to reach the mark? Do I deserve respect?
As much as the questions asked by those external to us plague us, the questions we ask of ourselves and the fleeting answers drive us. They encourage us in ways that they sometimes should not! They push us deeper into caves while we continue to climb mountains.
Do they hear us? Do they see us? Do they care?
We dig deeper and deeper; our bound tears are staining our soul because they have no outlet. Our souls heavy and saturated with our pain and burdens and our constant questions.
Should I be quiet? Should I hide? Should I run?
Since our voice adds no value, we will be silent. Since our presence adds no value, we will hide. Since our questions have no answers, we will run.
Should I stop? Should I quit? Should I leave?
The race seems too much and the journey too far, so we plot escapes. We abandon the hearts of our women and our children because we have felt the abandonment of ours. It is easier to leave when you have destroyed the bonds and broken those who cared. You can fool yourself for a little while. It is like a stiff drink, sweetened to hide the bitter bite of the alcohol. The sweetness hides the poison better and encourages us to behave foolishly against our interest, against our hearts, against our love.
You see, men fear that life will make a fool of us for caring and those for whom we care, risk it all and sacrifice for will not appreciate it until we are gone.
We fear that we will never hear sincere appreciation while we breathe from those we love so much, but instead will be pierced by the thorns of their disdain.
We fear that we will fail you, have failed you, and it is all because we could not be the greatest enemy, the prison of our thoughts.
Brothers, we are not alone. We need only surrender our pride to God, take our place on the cross, and let God cleanse our thoughts.
You are a great man, a great father, a great husband, and a great servant. You have to let the greatness out of the cell!