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Having the Guts to Become a Man

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! --Rudyard Kipling

When I was ten, my grandfather and father took me to a What-a-Burger in Columbia, Tenn. It was just down the road from the drive-in theater on Hwy. 31. They had these huge hamburgers with 5-inch buns, but I was after more than a What-a-Burger. I wanted to go there because I felt more like a man than a child sitting in-between my father and grandfather on the bench seat of the truck. I felt like part of the Stofel clan. I was going to be a man and eat a What-a-Burger with them.

But when I wanted an original What-a-Burger, instead of what amounted to a kiddie meal, they would say, “Your eyes are bigger than your tummy."

And they were right. My stomach didn't have the capacity to hold what I envisioned. But I never stopped dreaming of the day when I would become a man and consume the original What-a-Burger. It was like a glorified image before me, like a carrot on a stick. Manhood was in reach. Then…I had to unwrap the kiddie version of the What-a-Burger.

To put it in Don Draper's vernacular, What-a-Burger was “a childhood symbol of adulthood.” It was where I caught the vision of what a man could do if a man really had the right vision and the guts to do it.

What would you do if you really had the guts to do it?

What would you do if you had nothing to prove and nothing to lose?

Peter had nothing to lose when he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. He took a risk. But the other disciples didn't have the guts or the vision for such an adventure. They sat in the boat and watched Peter’s amazing step of faith. And maybe it was a spontaneous act or maybe he had been dreaming of walking on the water like his Savior for a longtime. Who knows?

You must dream before you can accomplish, and never set limits on your dreams. Start with the glorified image of what you want to do shining before your eyes. Let its splendor encourage and entice you through all the drudgery of the labor needed until you succeed (Phillip Brooks).

So how big is your vision? Do you have the guts to see it through to the end? Can you take a risk? Are you all-in? Are you ready to see what happens next? Go ahead, step out of the boat. Defy those who say your eyes are bigger than your tummy. Manhandle that 5-inch bun. And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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