Simple guidelines. Respect your bros. Never leave another bro hanging. Show masculinity; hide your femininity; stand out – but not too much. Be cool whenever threatened. Some simple rules to follow [they’re more like guidelines anyway], when out in public.
But what do those mean? Is there something that society is not telling us; unspoken guidelines which we must follow? Do those rules define what it means to be a guy? The answers can be found in the Scriptures, for and/or against each of the aforementioned ‘rules’; and if you need present-day examples of that, look no further than the Site 2 – South Africa group and hearken to them. We joined up with the guys from the South Africa site for the week for some solid man time. (the South African girls were kind enough leave us a free Candy Land Thrift Shop-like hoodie because it doesn’t have pockets and it zips up; thanks SAfers!)
Shapes are an amazing mathematical invention to represent things symbolically, especially when they are triangles. The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers talked a lot about finding your true self through God, and thus become vertical in our relational orientation – yet it started out by mentioning how our inner beings are drowned out by trying to fit into our society, making us horizontal, by focusing on the three majorly ambiguous words: glam, cool and sexy. In order to find our true inner self without faking our horizontal life, we focus on the Christian Guy Triangle that our Guys’ Week speaker, Lloyd, shared with us: Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical. To find your true self, this triangle has to be well balanced, much like The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
Unique to Outtatown [unless you have been somewhere I have not] is that during Guys Week the girls of Sites 1 and 2 had Girls Week simultaneously and we got to ask honest questions and answer the others’ questions honestly, through the form of anonymity, with our site leaders going to the other camp to answer the opposite sex’s questions. The bottom line is that girls like guys who are human (have and openly express their emotions, are sympathetic and empathetic, are dependable, respectful, trustworthy, and can be self-reliant through cooking, doing their own laundry, etc. – all resulting in a confident but modestly sincere man, who is not afraid of showing that he needs some assistance at times). So, to all of you shy, sincere men out there who aren’t getting much luck: stop spending too much time looking about online – just embody the characteristics mentioned above and you’ll be set to go.
We also did an awesome hike up Ha Ling (a mountain near Canmore) together. Check out the panoramic view we had, and that was only on the one side! Every guy from our site made it, a task easier said than done. It was great climbing together, encouraging each other, hiding from the wind at the summit together, and sharing such an experience. We also discovered an affinity in our group towards horseback riding. I don’t want to make us out to be better than we are, but just imagine The Man from Snowy River meets The Black Stallion and you’ve got a good picture of what we’re capable of. Unfortunately we were constrained to trotting and loping (slightly quicker than a trot), so most of our skills remained hidden.
Sincerely though, solid Christians are a hot commodity, though they’re certainly far from perfect. And what about horizontal beings that do not know who they are and lack a sense of internal self? Well, that’s what we’re trying to move away from as we strive towards vertical orientation in our self-identity. Being a guy isn’t about fitting a stereotype, it’s about finding balance between the spiritual, emotional, and physical. Simple guidelines.
This message has been brought to you by none other than your favourite man and fascinator of the Holy Bible (the authorized King James Version, that is): Adam.