Mar 6, 2020
About The Writer: Ray De La Nuez
Ray is the founder of Made To Reign Men's Ministry. He carries a passion for seeing men take their rightful place in the home, in their community, and in the world. He is an active duty Marine Corps officer who enjoys writing, video production, podcasting and working out. He and his wife, Natasha, have been married for seven years and have three beautiful children.
His only job was to drive his Amazon truck from one point to the other and get to me as fast as possible. But for some reason, yesterday's delivery man didn't want to comply with that protocol. I watched the estimated two-hour delivery window shift in the morning and thought "Heck, I'm not home yet, so it's fine. It's probably all of the rain." It shifted again in the afternoon and I got irritated. I had to calm myself down."At least it will make it before the front office closes." But it never did. The employees locked the doors and I stood empty-handed at the steps of the front office with rain blowing in my face. It was the saddest scene, really. "Why God," I wondered. "Why do I pay to have my things delivered in less than 24 hours and have this happen?"
A ‘ding’ interrupted my moment of self-pity and with it came a notification from my Amazon app. The truck was less than 10 stops away! Full of hope, I watched as the app showed his vehicle move closer to me. 5 more stops. 2 more stops. "Here it comes," I thought. But guys, I didn't make this up, the Amazon truck stopped when my screen said, "Your stop is next." My Marine Corps land navigation skills placed the guy at the ice cream shop down the road. By then I felt like I wanted to drop-kick the guy. I jumped in my truck thinking I could catch him while he's enjoying his frozen custard. Before I could even get to the main road an Amazon truck came towards me with my package. Now, I know what you're thinking. How ridiculous, right? And though I would like to see this as a separate event in my life, I have to be honest about where I am.
It’s In The Hard Stuff.
It’s as if I’m expecting everything in my life to be as easy and as hassle-free as Amazon Prime. I see an urge to avoid tension and tough work. I see this tendency play out in my parenting and in my marriage. I see it in my prayer life; "God, why is this still going on?" I see it in my distaste for processes, and long seasons of life. When I brought this up in a recent interview with John Eldredge of Ransomed Heart Ministries, he had this to say:
“We don’t realize that often the hardness IS our initiation. . . It’s doing things in our souls that need to be done, but we have been so conditioned by comfort [that] we are flabby souls.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m supposed to be this badass Marine Corps officer- the epitome of grit, tenacity, and determination, but I see my soul taking a different shape. As I scan the horizon of my life, I see the hills I avoided charging and the mountains I avoided climbing. I see places where I've allowed myself to be conformed to the ideals and opinions of this Amazon culture that we live in.
This Isn’t New.
Men, we have all been here; conflicted and confused, searching for directions at the corner of conforming and transforming. But the Bible is clear about this intersection and tells us which path to take. Paul urges us in Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
The pressing mold of our culture is often so close to our faces that we don’t see it for what it is. Our character can so easily and unknowingly be sculpted by habits, friends and, well, Amazon, that we can miss where we’ve gone wrong. Gentleman, God is raising an army of men who are being "transformed by the renewing of [their] minds." The word for "renewing" in Greek means "renovation" or "new development." We’re being transformed into men whose character and conduct reflect the will of God and that, through a complete demolition by the Holy Spirit of the ideals and opinions that we have conformed to.
Men, look around. Our families, our friends, and our communities are begging for men whose lives have been molded by God, and not by Amazon. What will you do about it?