Building Confidence and a Future
The mornings are starting to get a little cooler. The sun is taking a little longer to rise. Thoughts of football are starting to dominate the weekends. The 4:13 Strong campus is quiet during the workday. This is one of my favorite times of the year. We have completed all of the classroom activities for the year. We have provided Bible study, training, coaching and mentoring to four cohorts of men who made it into the 4:13 Strong program, and all of those men are now spending their days at work.
It is always fun for me to be here in the early evening as the guys begin arriving home after a full day of work. The work days for 4:13 Strong men start early. The 4:13 Strong vans are usually leaving the campus before 5:00 am in order to get everyone to work on time. By the time the men get back to campus, they are pretty tired. It may only be 5:00 pm, but all they care to think about is dinner, shower and bed.
This is a huge change from how the men start the program. The first few weeks they are living on the campus, the men seem to come alive when the sun goes down. They are loud and energetic well into the late hours of the day, and when the alarm clock goes off to wake them up for the 5:30 am workout, they are really struggling. But now, they are up and ready to go before the sun even begins its day. And this is just one of many changes that we see.
We have watched the men grow in their faith and their confidence. We have seen them find hope and purpose. We have watched them begin to live out the definition of manhood that we teach: “avoid passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and expect God’s greater reward.” We have seen God at work in the lives of the 4:13 Strong men, doing things that only He can do.
But that doesn’t mean that this journey is easy or even a sure thing. Nothing is worse than watching a man give up on himself. The path may seem so clear and obvious to us, but that is only because we have spent the majority of our life on that path. Most 4:13 Strong men are finding themselves on that path for the very first time. Everything they are experiencing is something unknown. The rigor of a full-time job, a demanding supervisor, mandatory overtime…it is all new and for some, it can be too much. They decide to give up and go back to what they know. Our prayer for these men is that some of what they learned and experienced while at 4:13 Strong will take root and eventually lead them back to that path they decided to walk away from.
Please keep the 4:13 Strong men in your prayers. Pray for perseverance and courage for the men who have put their past behind them and are now walking down that new path. Pray for wisdom and protection for those that have given up and fallen back into their old way of living.
Please consider coming out to help us celebrate the men that have completed the 4:13 Strong program. We will be having a graduation ceremony in October and would love to have you join us. Check out the website for additional information as we finalize the details.
President, 4:13 Strong