I got up early this morning.
I think our alarm went off about 5:30 am or so. Alene has a habit of just hitting the snooze and rolling over every ten minutes for an hour until it's time to get out of bed. I'm more of a "set the alarm for the time you want to get up, then get up" kinda guy, but whatever. Her way, with a little extra snuggle time in the morning, is pretty good too.
The problem for me this morning was that I had worked a long 15 hour shift yesterday. When I came home last night I was very tired, but I couldn't get to sleep. My mind was still kinda adrenaline soaked after working on the radio during a particularly gnarly bank robbery and vehicle pursuit earlier in the evening.
The robbers walked out of a bank, followed by a cop who'd been in the bank on his own business and saw the robbery go down. He followed the suspect's truck and gave updates on the radio until marked units arrived and took over, after which the chase was on!
The bad guys took off and wound around several neighborhoods, up onto a crowded rush-hour freeway, down the right shoulder and up and down several off and on ramps. After about 20 minutes, the driver crashed their truck into a canal about a block from their home. They both got out and ran, and after a short scuffle with several police officers and a K9 partner, were taken into custody. From the looks of one of the bad guys afterwards, it was pretty clear the officers and their K9 won the fight pretty convincingly.
My job, I must admit, has it's cool moments.
Anyway, I didn't sleep much last night. I think I got to bed around 1am. When the alarm went off, I had planned to get up and go to a men's bible study at church. I laid in bed and considered my options. Get up, go fellowship with the guys at church, or sleeeeeeeeeeep until about 9am.
I bet you can guess my choice.
So I drifted back to sleep as Alene got up and went into the living room to do her morning Bible study.
All of sudden, my eyes opened and I was awake! I began to think about the men's study and how much I'd been looking forward to it.
The study is about a men's fraternity, a curriculum called The Quest for Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. Seeing as how it sounded very similar to book I'd read some years ago called Wild at Heart by John Eldredge (which, by the way, provided the title and inspiration for this blog), I was curious to learn more. Wild at Heart changed my life. Made me think about what it means to me a man in today's world, and got me to rethink many of the ways I approached life.
I also didn't want to disappoint one of the guys I'd made a commitment to when I said I'd be there.
So, it came down to God's will, or my will. All I really had to do was brush my teeth (for the benefit and comfort of others in attendance), slip on my flip-flops and go to church. So, at what I'm certain was the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit, I got up and toddled off to church.
Via McDonald's for coffee, but I think that's a given.
It turns out I'm very glad I did get up and go.
I met with a group of about 7 or 8 other men, all of whom I'd seen before at church, very few of which I knew well. It was a good time of fellowship, listening to some teaching, and sharing a little bit in discussion. The subject matter seems to be very close to what I was hoping it would be, which got me excited about the study.
As I go through this study I'll probably make some posts about things I learn and changes I make. Naturally I'm not going to talk about too many specifics or anyone else's journey. Each man has his own journey, and can talk about it or not to their own desires, but I'll not be breaking any confidences here, anonymous or not.
So I'm tired and sleepy, but also eager to see where God guides us. I'm looking forward to making deeper friendships with some of the men in my group, and to becoming a better, stronger man for the benefit of those around me.
Especially for my family and the woman I love.