One Simple Habit to Make Your Mark An Exclamation Not A Question Mark

We’re Out of Toilet Paper! 

Arena Men,

But don’t use the pages of this book! They are sharp!  I hope you have enjoyed the blog entries for July’s blog posts taken from our 365 Men’s Devotional, The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men. This is a favorite devotional resource for men. We sell out of them at every event.

            The five essentials we used in each blog were from my new book, Strong Men Dangerous Times. We did this to prepare all Arena Men for the launch of our Best Version Assessment that will be available on our website on August 1. Make sure you sign up ASAP. 

The Trail’s End

Keep the ice chest cold and filled. It’s often a long walk back to the truck and even a longer drive home. Of all my hunting memories, I vividly recall the special care Dad took to fill the ice chest with cold drinks. It was a small reward for a hard day in the California heat. Knowing an ice-cold soda was waiting at the jeep kept me pressing on. Nothing tastes better than your favorite chilled beverage after sucking lukewarm water from a World War II canteen.

            As a teenager in the 80’s my drink of choice was an ice-cold Mountain Dew. Oh, that cold lemon lime taste coming out of an ice chest and down my throat! I took their 80’s slogan to heart at the end of a hard day, "Give me a Dew!”

            Like the end of the trail those memories spent with Dad and my brother, Tom, are days long gone. At some point everything ends, even life. As much as we’d like to ignore it, we must all face the end of the trail, some sooner than others. The author of Hebrews wisely penned, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

            Every man finishes life. Not all finish strong.

            Oh, to hear those refreshing words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21) after a lifetime of clawing, scratching, and fighting to push back the darkness for God’s glory. How I long to hear those words from my Master—my King!

            Don’t buy society’s lie to work hard in life, retire, and coast to the end of life’s trail. This couldn’t be further from Biblical truth. Too many men have put their face to the grindstone only to be forgotten on their tombstone. Cherish your life. You only have one. Enjoy the scenic views on your journey. Live at a pace that allows you to capture the essence of life and finish well. Life is more than the hike out of a scorching canyon at noon. It’s about those moments at the truck over an ice-cold drink with someone you love that we learn the joy of a life well lived.

            There are finishes and there are strong finishes. They are not the same. Sometimes a finish is a wrong finish. A divorce is a wrong finish. A suicide is a wrong finish. Getting fired from your job for reasons you could have avoided is a wrong finish. To live selfishly in retirement, refusing to impact others with your experiences, wisdom, and expertise is a wrong finish. It may be the most tragic finish of them all.

            Commit yourself at all costs to finishing strong.

            As Matthew Henry once wrote, “It ought to be the business every day to prepare for the final day.”

December 21, 2012. Finishing Wrong.

December 21 is the day my stepfather of over thirty years died tragically by his own hand. We’ll never know why it happened. His pain died with him on that day but continued through his loved ones. He left a note that offered no clues. He was my stepfather from early high school on. He was a good man. He was good to my mom. He was a good stepfather. Our home was always the cool place to be thanks to his laid-back attitude. I liked him a lot.

            But in the morning, on that day, he ended his life using the Remington Model 700 chambered in .270 that we gave to him on Christmas many years earlier. One year later the gun was released from evidence at the Sheriff’s Department, and I was commissioned by the family to sell it. It hadn’t been cleaned. The weapon was simply picked up and placed in an evidence box. In handwriting on the box are the words, “Found next to the body.”

            Suicide is also a finish, a painful one, and a very wrong one.       

            Years later, the box sat only three feet from me in my office, a constant reminder to finish strong where others have finished wrong.

Do This if you Want to Finish Strong

When I go out, I want to go out with a war cry like Jesus: “It is finished!” (NASB) and not a whimper like lesser translations: “It is finished.”

            Yes, how Jesus finished his life matters deeply to me.

            My stepdad went out with a question mark. Others go out with a comma, dash, or ellipses.

            After watching and reading about countless lives, I have noticed something significant. Lives that finish strong build a habit of doing something special—something different from other men.

            They finish most of their days strong. Strong daily finishes, compounded over a lifetime equal a strong life finish. 

            Here’s what I mean. When you get home from work you can either finish weak by laying on the couch, ignoring your family, playing video games, or heading to the garage (man cave). Or you can finish strong by engaging with your wife and children. You will be remembered by those you love for what you did between 6:00-9:00 at night not 8:00-5:00 in the day.

            It is your choice. You get to choose the punctation mark that describes your life.

Full Capacity Finishes

We at Men in the Arena believe teams are the greatest tool to see long term growth in men. Starting this fall we are unveiling a NEW strategic plan to train thousands upon thousands of men globally about how to live at full capacity as their best version. 

            During July, we wrote about each of the five essentials of manhood to be extensively discussed in our new program and are also explained in detail in the Amazon #1 bestseller, Strong Men Dangerous Times. Next week, August 1st, we will go live with the Best Version Assessment and the active placement of trailblazing men into teams with our seasoned National Team Captains.

            Spots are extremely limited to first come first served. This is not a marketing ploy. We are launching five teams of 20 men maximum this fall cycle, five more in during the winter cycle and five more in the spring—a 300 men maximum. Sign up today to reserve a spot on the Wait List. The only cost involved is the price of the workbook.  

 

Living at Full Capacity in Him,

  

Jim

 

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