I Wanna Be Like Mike
This past weekend, I came across two news stories that I cannot stop thinking about. First, the story of Don Gorske. This dude holds the Guinness World Record for the most Big Macs consumed in a lifetime. He actually set this record two years ago, but he has continued to eat two Big Macs a day – since 1972 – and last week, he polished off his 30,000th Big Mac. Unreal. (Fun fact, when I told my wife, Jen, about this feat, she said, “Let me guess. Wisconsin?” We have family there, so it was a natural assumption. Also, she was right.)
The second story, and possibly (?) more unbelievable, is that of Mike Hughes.
Mike Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver from Apple Valley, California.
Mike Hughes believes the earth is flat.
Mike Hughes wants to prove the earth is flat. So, he built a rocket, climbed in it, and then shot himself into “space” (1,850 feet into the air) as a publicity stunt to raise $2 million. His goal is to build his “Rockoon” – a balloon/rocket hybrid that will allow him to prove the earth is flat, as it will take him 68 miles into space (and most definitely will kill him).
Mike Hughes also wants to be the Governor of California. Suddenly all of this makes a lot more sense.
Editor’s note: I have embellished NOTHING about these stories.
Here’s what gets me about these stories. Yes, clearly both men are insane. Both of these men – for whatever reason – have set goals rooted in sincere conviction and priorities that, at best, are completely absurd, and, at worst, are life-threatening. These two chuckleheads are totally ridiculous.
And they also have my complete respect.
Hear me out. Looking at these two men, it’s easy to get distracted by the absurdity of their beliefs and choices and miss out on a major part of their stories. Do you have any idea the amount of discipline it takes to eat two Big Macs every day for 46 years (minus 8 days due to work commitments #priorities)? Can you wrap your mind around the level of commitment to your belief system it takes to be willing to put yourself in incredible danger JUST to get publicity so you could fund your ultimate goal of putting yourself in even MORE danger to discover truth for yourself? We look at these men and join those in ridiculing them, because of what they have committed their lives to, and in doing so, we lose sight of the fact that these guys are way more committed to their beliefs than we are to ours.
Seriously. Do you know ANYONE in your Christian circle who is as sold out to Jesus with the same discipline, intensity, and commitment as Don and Mike are to their beliefs? Are you surrounded by others who clearly exist solely to make their life about Jesus? When I read about these guys, I’m deeply convicted over my own life and the amount of energy I put into my relationship with Christ. Two wackos are severely outpacing me when it comes to the level of commitment we approach the thing we have built our lives on: Jesus vs. Big Macs. They are single-minded.
But what would it look like if I – if all of us as the Church – adopted the same level of passion and commitment as Mike and Don, but just directed it towards the Holy and Good? EVERYTHING about us would change. How we spend our time and energy would be totally different. The choices we make would be first filtered through the lens of who Christ has created and called us to be. We would be different. The Church would be different. The whole world would be completely different. But, this kind of commitment doesn’t just happen. How many times do we promise God – with completely sincere intentions – that we will change, only to come right back the next day/week/month and say the same thing again, because our sincere intentions never translated into effort or action? Don’t act like you don’t. We all do. Commitment – especially commitment to change – requires intentionality and a willingness to fight for the things that are important to you.
All of us – men, women, children – have been called to more. To greater. To deeper. But that requires us to move. It requires dedication. It requires us to FIGHT for the thing we are committed to, and we cannot do it on our own. We need each other to help us stay focused and to encourage us forward in our walk with Christ. Wherever you are, whoever you are, Christ has created and called us to pursue Him with everything we have. Let’s embrace that calling and be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that calling.
But men, we need to talk. God has called you to lead your families, to help lead His Church, and to make a difference for His Kingdom. This is as tough to hear as it is to say, but if your family, if the Church, and if the Kingdom doesn’t look the way God intends, the responsibility lies with us. You can try to make excuses to explain why this isn’t the case but come on. We know it’s true. When we look at the failures in our homes and churches, it is because we have not been single-minded in our pursuit of Christ. We have made excuses. We have not been focused. We have given our time and energy to things that aren’t worthy of the calling we have been given. We may laugh at the Dons and Mikes of the world, but they’re looking at us wondering why we are so passive in the things we claim to have at our foundation. Are we fighting for our wives and our children? Are we intentional in our commitment to our God? Are we working diligently to make sure those around us are also in pursuit of who God has called THEM to be?
And that’s where the good news comes in. There is a group at FAITH that is made up of a bunch of men who have taken a hard look at who they are and where they are and realized that things cannot stay the same. We are no longer satisfied with the passive, weak excuse for what passes as a husband, father, brother, and Christian. We believe all of these things are worth our best effort and our daily, intentional fight against what the world is constantly throwing at us. We want you with us. We NEED you with us. And you need us. If any of us were capable of doing this alone, we would’ve already.
Let me explain Fight Club. It’s very simple. Fight Club is a group of brothers who want to push each other towards excellence in our relationships with our families, the Church, and our Savior. We meet every Wednesday night from 8:30-10 p.m. (late enough that you can take care of your responsibilities at home and then join us) at The Garage (across the street from FAITH’s main campus), and we engage in challenging discussions on real life issues. We get honest about who we are, where we’ve been, and where God is taking us. That’s it. This is not a push-up contest. This is not a physical fitness group. Twice a year for 10 weeks, some choose to engage in a completely optional personal challenge journey to push themselves harder – but this is NOT mandatory and this is NOT the crux of Fight Club. This is a group of brothers fighting for the things that matter, because we believe they are worth it.
Mike Hughes – the crazy flat-earther rocket man – said this in an interview: “I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket. I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it.”
It’s time to man up. It’s time to stop talking about being different. It’s time for all of our good intentions with their promises of future action to turn into daily, intentional, life-changing commitment. I cannot wait for the day when the Dons and Mikes of the world look at us and go, “Wow, those guys are REALLY serious about what they believe.” It’s time to fight. Our families and our King are worth it.