Looking back on my life, I can identify several moments of helpless momentum. What I mean by a moment of ‘helpless momentum’ is a turning point when life picks up its pace in a frightening hurry. During these moments, the momentum is completely out of my hands… I’m helpless to the drastic velocity my life is gaining. All I can do is try to manage that velocity… I will either control it and experience some great changes in my life, or it will destroy me.
I experienced one of these moments when I left home for college. I deliberately chose a school that was 1,000 miles from everything and everyone I was familiar with because I knew I needed to experience something totally new. My mom, dad, and sister made that awful first drive with me from Dallas to the far northeastern corner of Tennessee. We landed at a tiny, liberal arts school named Milligan College that hid in the middle of a tiny, Appalachian town named Johnson City. The next day, after a quick lunch, my family left me in a Pizza Hut parking lot in the middle of that strange, mountainous city and drove home to Texas. I was completely alone in a foreign place. I literally knew no one. I barely even knew how to get from the Pizza Hut back to my campus. I was an eighteen-hour drive away from the comfort of my hometown, long-time friends, and family. A new phase of my life had begun, and something inside of me understood that it was going to be monumental. I was excited and hopeful, but I also felt wholly unprepared for what my future might hold.
Another one of these moments was when I first met Ali (whom I would eventually and miraculously convince to marry me). Our first, official date was a long drive through the mountains on a meandering, Tennessean highway. We shared stories, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and individually decided we wanted nothing more than to learn everything about each other. That night, as I dropped Ali off at her dorm, something inside of me understood that the rest of my life was going to look different because of that drive. Once again, I was excited and hopeful, but I also felt wholly unprepared to launch into a life-changing relationship.
Similarly, I think many of the men at Flatirons are currently experiencing moments of helpless momentum. I feel like we’re on the brink of something great. We’ve been challenged by our leaders to step up, take responsibility for our actions, and trust that our God can make us better men. I’ve been to The Man Event, The Trail, Theology on Tap, and I’ve hung out behind the guys’ resource table in the lobby on the weekend, and I’ve seen a vast number of men who are actually standing up to this challenge.
Like leaving home or beginning a committed relationship, it takes a brief, but seemingly insane amount of courage to face our own failures, let God break down our walls, and ask someone in the lobby, “How do I get more connected at Flatirons?” But like leaving home or beginning a committed relationship, that insane amount of courage can result in significant, wonderful changes further down the road. Likewise, we may feel excited and hopeful, but I also wonder if we’re not wholly unprepared for the amazing things God is about to accomplish through this church.
In short, the men of Flatirons were directly challenged to stand up and take responsibility for the maturity of this church. That was a challenge that created helpless momentum, but rather than letting that velocity destroy us, the men of Flatirons have controlled it and have taken responsibility for it, and I think we are going to see some incredible results because of our men’s responses. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of this movement, and I can’t wait to see where this momentum leads.
BenTags: challenge, man event, Men, reverse engineering