A question that resonates in most people is “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This typically refers to an occupation or career choice and inspires us to “dream big”.
How did you first answer that question? Is your answer the same as it first was, or has it changed?
I wanted to be on a manned mission to Mars when I grew up; however, once I knew I needed glasses to correct my vision, my dreams changed – I knew I could never be a NASA astronaut with glasses.
Most people would agree that when we grow up, we can do almost anything we want to do if we plan for it, get the right education, catch some breaks and work hard; however, what we want as a child might not be the best choice since it’s based on incomplete facts about what it will take in terms of personal sacrifices to make the dream happen.
Growing up to be an astronaut requires special training, knowledge of math and sciences, and other specifics like 20/20 eyesight.
Interestingly, Of the 24 men to travel to the moon on the Apollo 9 through Apollo 17 missions, 21 were Scouts, including 10 of the 12 men who physically walked on the moon’s surface, and all three members of the crew of Apollo 13. Three traveled to the Moon twice. All three of the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire, four of the seven who died in the Challenger launch explosion, and five of the seven who died in the Columbia re-entry explosion were Scouts. (Source = http://usscouts.org/eagle/eagleastronauts.asp)
While these are interesting statistics, what was the cost to each of these scouts? Some paid with their physical lives, and others may have had to sacrifice in other ways – through damaged relationships, stress, illness, and other costs.
I don’t question their choices, but merely point out that they counted the costs and pursued what was important to them.
What is important to you? What’s important to God? Does God want you to be an astronaut, a musician, a professional athlete or the next Governor of New Jersey? Maybe any one of those things or more! But here’s the question for you – what’s the one thing we all have in common that God wants us to excel at as we grow up? We grow up to be “men”.
We’ve done a lot of study over the past year about what it means to be a scout and how we pledge to live our lives according to the Oath and Law. In each of these lessons we started with what the scouting program expects of us, and examined how those expectations measured up to scriptures.
I’d like to turn that around – what does scripture tell us about being Godly “men” and how that relates to being a good scout?
So, regardless of our job or career, we’re all growing up into adult men. What’s that job requirement look like? Is there any special training needed? Who is going to depend on us to be strong as men?
Of course, you’ll be called a man just because you were born as a male gender – but to be fully qualified, you’ll need to know the expectations of a man in order to be ready for that responsibility.
I recently read a book called “The Measure of a Man” by Gene A. Getz. This book examines twenty specific attributes of what’s defined as a “Godly Man” based on Paul’s letters to Timothy (1 Tim 3:1-7) and Titus (Titus 1:5-10). At just about 250 pages, the book is a quick read and in my opinion is well worth the $10 investment at an online book store.
For now, I’d recommend checking out the scriptures listed in Timothy and Titus and see what’s similar to our scout law and what’s different. Over the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at each of these attributes and discuss them as a group.