Every man wants to be a hero. This innate desire to be a hero starts young in our lives. Just look at my boys choice of costumes from Halloween. They wanted to be Spiderman and Batman, and were distraught when they discovered that at their school they would not wear their costumes, but ingeniously dressed up as Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne. Beneath the surface, men have a deep sense of heroic responsibility.
Unless you are George Constanza…
Listen to a group of men pray and you will here them petition for the strength to make a difference in our cities, our neighborhood and our homes. We want to be heroic in life. But to be a hero, you have to follow the hero’s quest.
There are three stages to the Hero’s Quest
The Hero’s quest begins when he is separated from the comfort, the stability, the familiar and the safe. He leaves behind the secure world for the unknown. This separation is often a forceful departure because no one really wants to leave a comfortable life.
Stage two is undergoing an ordeal that challenges oneself in order expose weaknesses and reveal strengths. Traditionally these ordeals were initiation rites among men only, where the elders accepted the younger males in as men.
Finally, the man returns ready to live the life of a hero on behalf of others.
You know what…in its brilliance…F3 takes men on that Hero’s quest every morning.
Stage 1: We are pulled out of the comfiness of our warm homes. We get yanked out of the safe, secure suburbs and thrust into the dark gloom unaware of what will happen.
Stage 2: We face an ordeal-I remember vividly during my first workout wheezing during the warmup mountain climbers wondering what have just undergone; and just this morning, I grumbled as a man unneccessarily made me bear crawl. The carefully controlled initiation rite leaves each one of us gasping where we have identified weaknesses (burpees) and strengths (partner-carries).
Stage 3: We return to our homes, our jobs, our community energized and ignited to lead valiantly.
Patrick Arnold captures the drive home for a newly minted hero:
The final stage of the heroic initiation rites was return and reintegration into society. The village would mark the reappearance of their new men with a great celebration or feast; clothed or named anew, the young men won new respect. They were important now, they mattered. Now they were expected to join the hunt, learn how to defend the village, to rule the tribe, to pray on behalf of the people, and to heal the sick–to live lives of concrete and everyday heroism.^
So men, what way are you returning on behalf of the people as concrete everyday heroes?