Few plays in sports capture more excitement than a QB rearing back on his heels to launch a long bomb to a receiver deep downfield. The football hangs in the air, taunting fans, and raising adrenaline levels all over the stadium. Everything depends on what happens next.
Many of us men will recall days of backyard football, where we barked out plays in small huddles. Some of those plays were complex and needed a Ph.D. in neighborhood sports to decipher. Inevitably, though, one of those plays consisted of telling the fastest guy, “You go deep.”
We need deep. We need someone who is out there in case all else fails. When no other options exist, you can count on that one guy in the next Zip code, the one you sent deep, to save the day.
“Men, go deep.”
If I have a word for this year, it’s that.
What I say here isn’t specifically in the Bible, so you can take it for what it’s worth, but I think God made men to be deep. Deeper than women.
God gave women the gift of breadth. They have a social gifting that pulls in people from all realms and crosses social boundaries more easily. They are the roots of the tree that spread out to the dripline to capture the rain and find nourishment.
But God gives men the gift of depth, of being the taproot of the tree, the anchor, the leading edge, the part that goes where other parts don’t, that explores the boundaries yet holds it all fast. Being deep means you dwell in many places alone and unaccompanied. God alone can see you. God alone knows and understands your function.
I believe with all my heart that the combined social and theological crisis of our generation is a lack of men who are deep. Deeply rooted in God. Deeply committed to truth. Deeply in love with their Savior and not with anything or anyone else. Men who are deep because of their devotion to the only One who matters.
Men, go deep.
I say all this because it is my experience in this life. While I have met a few deep women, they are of a different quality than the deep men I have known. And those deep men are an increasing rarity.
Feminism hurt men more than we know. Whatever women gained by the feminist movement, men lost in kind. It was not a win-win. And when men don’t win, women don’t either. I think many feminists of those early days of the movement would look around today and wonder what happened to men.
Men don’t have any heroes anymore beyond fictional ones. Why are comic book superheroes our transcendent role models today? Because real men aren’t.
One could argue that younger men today manage successfully to dwell in the shadow of the full bloom of feminism’s flower, yet one could argue equally that young men today have responded by retreating into infantalism, stuck in the mode of Peter Pan, dealing with our cultural and societal experiment by forever staying 12 years old. Forever shying away from digging down.
But men go deep.
I don’t think there has ever been a time in human history when the clarion call for men has been more clear and loud. God calls for men to go deep in Him.
The challenge for men who heed that call is that no aspect of our culture or society supports depth. All of it, every shred, caters to shallowness. All of it is arrayed against God. Every little bit.
Men who go deep will have no support. Not from other men. Not from their wives. Not from their children. No one will understand the man who goes deep–except God.
If we want to point a finger at our churches and ask why there is no power, no revelation, no vision, no transcendence, no fire at all, it’s because of a dearth of deep men. Period. You can stop right there, because that’s the answer for almost everything that ails us.
You can’t fake deep. You can’t look in the eyes of a shallow man and find wisdom, only in the eyes of the deep. And there are fewer men with that piercing, penetrating depth today, so good luck finding them.
Instead, you be that man. Go deep.
God holds out His hands to any man who will pull himself away from myriad distractions that hinder to instead find respite in the Him and go deep. You can’t buy depth. It comes only from intimate time spent with God away from the rest of the world. It means turning back to God every moment of every day. Again and again. It means having zero confidence in oneself, none, but taking it all back to God and operating out of His Spirit’s empowering alone. No substitute exists.
Men today want to be inoffensive, liked, entertained, in control, and successful by the world’s standards. Theirs is a wide, well-trod path.
The man who goes deep into God will be misunderstood, chastised, and even hated. Often by people who should instead be supporting his desire for God and the deep places God alone can take him. We used to have men like that. Used to.
Such men are our only hope.
Because the clock has wound down. It’s fourth and 25. Without a man open way downfield, there will be little chance for victory.
“Men, go deep.”