The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
The source of joy is a moving target for a man. In his early years, its the little discoveries that bring a smile to both face and heart–the bug that holds your fascination, the view from a tree you’ve climbed, the lightning bug you captured in a jar, and thousands more.
But as you get older, discovery begins to lose its place on the joy meter. Responsibilities grow and achievements begin to matter, at least to those around us. Now life’s joy works off a list of accomplishments and the good feelings they generate. We look to win at the game life teaches and try to find our joy in moments of success.
But something else changes too. Now we cheer the progress of sports teams that play games on our behalf where once it was our knees that were dirtied by that tackle or play at home plate. So we wear other people’s jerseys rather than our own, ’cause our doing has become more specialized, a shorter list of things we do. And our sense of joy and the list of what provides it has narrowed too.
Still later in life, relationships begin to matter more deeply. Yes, we have always loved our families and worked the long hours on their behalf, but now we live vicariously through them. We celebrate their achievements and find joy in the way their lives touch our own. And every time we see them, we find our joys have shifted to these treasured moments.
In fact, in our later years we often discover relationships as the one place where joy was available all along. For some men, years of chasing it elsewhere start looking foolish and even wasted. Family and friends were the always available source of joy while we were chasing other things.
So where is your joy today? Is it in what you do or do you know the deep satisfaction that comes with focus on those you love? Success seldom lingers for long, but those you love will be nearby until the end.