Get Connected and Stay Connected

When I was a coach with the San Francisco Giants I had the pleasure of working with Thomas Neal. We were both hitting coaches in the minor leagues, and we spent countless hours talking about hitting and life. One thing he always preached to our hitters was to “Get connected and stay connected.” He was talking about how when you load backwards, your hands connect with your hips. At that point your hips take over and drive your hands towards the baseball. If these two body parts get disconnected, your swing will be less efficient, and your potential max power output will decrease.

You can take this same phrase and apply it to life. When men connect with other men, we do life together. It’s too hard to lead our families or even your own life on your own. Surrounding yourself with strong men who have different life experiences helps us when we get stumped. About 5 years ago I made the decision to create a small circle of menwho I can go to for advice. They help keep me grounded in many ways and in addition to them I also have 2 older men who I use as mentors. I’m always looking for ways to be a better husband and father, so reaching out to other men I trust helps me make wise decisions.

Redwood Trees and their Root System

An example I love about how we do life better together as men are the Redwood trees and their root system. Redwood trees are amazing because they can grow over 300 feet tall! You would think they need deep roots to sustain that, but their roots only go about 5 feet deep. However, their root system spreads out as much as 100 feet from their trunks. They intertwine with one another and that is what gives them strength and stability to withstand storms and floods. When the storms of life come, and trust me they will, you can rely on your small circle of friends to help you through these times.

My pastor, Travis Hearn, gave a sermon around a year ago and he used the example of the Redwood trees. He said “The more connected you are, the more protected you are.” How profound is that?! When we are connected with other men who care deeply about us, we can go to them about anything. You need guys you can call when the doo doo hits the fan, and you need help. Someone who is not just a yes man and will agree with everything you say. You need men who will hold you accountable. That means you are ok if they call you out when you are doing something wrong. You have given them permission to speak into your life.

“The more connected you are, the more protected you are.”

Travis Hearn

Sharing Your Testimony

One great way to get connected with a group of men is to attend a church. If you already do, start to volunteer on Sundays and help out before, during, or after the service. That’s how I started to build relationships with other men. I also encourage you to find out if the church has small groups or a men’s bible study that meets on a weekly basis. When guys start to get comfortable around one another they tend to open up, and that’s where healing begins. Guys who are willing to be vulnerable and share their story with other men is beneficial on both ends. 

A person’s testimony is important for multiple reasons. Sharing your testimony allows you to help others because they might have a similar struggle. Maybe they will come to you and ask for advice on how to overcome what they are going through. It’s also important for you to talk about your testimony for yourself. Sometimes telling your story helps in your own healing process. Remember that there is no testimony without a test. You went through it for a reason. Sharing it helps yourself and others. 

I hope these examples of how getting connected and staying connected is important as we do life together as men. It will make you a better husband, father, co-worker, and friend. Remember that being consistent is very important. Too many times as men we get a quick fix and then fall into the same mistakes. Do your best to learn from others so we can become the leaders that God wants and needs us to be!

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