person melting iron



In Proverbs (27:17) there’s a phrase that says “Iron sharpens iron” and I think there’s a tremendous amount of wisdom to be taken from this verse, especially if you’re interested in making yourself a better person each day.

One of my challenges in the last few years has been in developing a full social life. At least, a ‘full’ social life that’s local to me. I have incredible friends all over the world – many of which I’ve had the joy of knowing for at least a decade. However, when I crash-landed back in Texas, I knew that many of these friendships weren’t local, and that presented me with a bit of a dilemma.

In this chapter of my life, I’m not interested in meeting a lot of friends to go party with. I’m also not interested in meeting a lot of people who occupy the circles I used to inhabit. The party scene is something that’s meant to be short-lived, if lived at all, and when you don’t exit the scene at the appropriate age, you simply continue to go around in circles. There’s no growth, no more joy and certainly no more excitement in your 500th party any more than the first one brought you. What changes is you – and you’re just an older, more tired and more wrinkly version of the younger you that first stepped into the scene.

Most circles in life are like this; when you don’t enter and exit at the proper interval, all you do is repeat that chapter of life and what you lose in the process is a little bit of you – the part that could have grown and become better.

When I was in middle school, I remember sitting down with my Mom and praying for good friends. At the time, I had tears in my eyes because I felt like a bit of a loser. Yet, she prayed with me and that Summer, I met several of the friends that I’m still in contact with to this day.

As an adult, my mindset shifted quite a bit. I wasn’t interested in meeting people to socialize with, as much as interested in meeting others who could uplift, encourage, challenge and better me as both a man and a Father. I prayed and God delivered. Again.

I think it’s worth noting that I don’t put a tremendous amount of life satisfaction in having a large group of friends to socialize with on a weekly basis. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy going out to brunch as the next guy. It’s simply that my own life is in a different place right now, and it’s a place where I want to challenge myself, learn new things and become a better human being without a lot of direct involvement from others.

It means absolutely nothing to me that I no longer go to bars, large brunch groups with friends who slam mimosas or participate in late-night shenanigans with drunken Uber rides, after hours and discovering odd places/houses in the wee hours of the morning because that’s where the night led. More than anything, I’ve had my share of these things and want nothing more from that scene.

What’s more fulfilling to me is self-discovery, practicing my musical instruments, keeping my home clean and ready for Atlas (to destroy all over again each week) and to reconnect with my relationship with God in a way that’s far more meaningful than the light-hearted connection I had with God during my younger days.

“Aaron, I know the moment that I met you that I would one day have a relationship with you.” Somebody told me this past week. Between the time If first met that person and the moment I then sat across the restaurant table, over one year had passed.

“By the way, I got something for you.”

Reaching across the table, I grabbed a small bag which was full of presents for Atlas, as well as a brand new Bible for me.

In that moment, I felt like my life was somehow living one of the moments I’d read about often in the writing of Don Miller – who often spoke about different mentors who poured into his life and made a difference. In my story, there’s a lot less self-defeating talk, which is something I always hated about Miller’s writing…

During our lunch, I got an hour or more of some of the best Dad, life and spiritual advice I’d ever received. And it was from somebody who knew what they were talking about. I mean, who really knew what they were talking about. Beyond a spiritual mentor, this individual was a powerhouse in the business world.

“I once took a company from being -$40m in the hole to making over $1B a year – in ten years.”

It’s pretty rare that you find people like this in your life. Let alone, people like this who want to pour into your life, mentor you and help lead you on your journey.

As a Dad, I’m determined to be the BEST Dad that I can be for Atlas. I don’t want him to one day look at me as the example he didn’t want to follow – as many young men feel about their Dad – I want him to look at me and know that he was given a solid example to follow, and that his life was better because of the path I set out for him.

Some Dads try to go extra hard on their children, because they want them to somehow to things different than they did. What this tends to result in is more of a drill sergeant than a strong father figure to follow after. I’ve learned that if Atlas is going to one day do well in his life, he needs to see my walk my talk, even at a young age.

I believe that everybody ought to have a certain measure of accountability. In most cases, people are held accountable to certain things through their employer, spouse and even children. Yet, there’s one level of accountability that I now hold myself to; God. The Creator of this beautiful universe has a plan for me, but also a certain level of expectation for me to follow, and I know that one day I will have to stand before God and give an account for all of my actions, as well as the job I did in raising Atlas.

Today, I’m thankful that I’ve found incredible friends, mentors and family in my life who are there to support, love, challenge and inspire me to do a little better each day than I did the last.

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