Managing “Man”esia

September 19th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 4: 4-5 (NLT)

4 My father taught me,
   “Take my words to heart.
      Follow my commands, and you will live.
 5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
      Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

There are many facets of life that leave men mystified.  The complexities of the female psyche.  The idea that one can cease to be hungry.  The seemingly incredulous concept that fuel efficiency is more important than speed.  The popularity of television shows like “Project Runway.”  These are just a few of the universal mysteries that plague the male gender.

Because of our perpetual confusion and the incessant search to understand the nature of a world that we can’t seem wrap our minds around, I theorize that men suffer from a very serious medical condition that I have simply dubbed “Manesia.”  In essence, manesia is the gender-wide loss of memory that men of all ages experience on a daily basis.  

Manesia is no respecter of persons.  It cripples all males, young and old, alike.  It manifests its symptoms every time a seven-year old boy forgets to brush his teeth.  It’s devastating effects are felt (or smelt) when a group of eleven or twelve-year old boys forget to wear deodorant.  Teenage guys suffer daily from manesia, helplessly devoid of understanding each time they forget a laundry list of things ranging from homework to . . . well . . . laundry.  Even grown men constantly walk through life in a memory stupor, forgetting the very basic parts of everyday life.  It’s tragic, really.

But God did not leave us alone in our debilitating condition.  He offered hope in the form of the opposite gender, or at least that’s what He did for me.  (If you tense up from my stereotypes, it may be time to take a vacation or at least consider decaf.)  In my life, relief and the road to recovery came in the form of my incredible wife.  From the inception of our relationship over a decade ago, she has worked tirelessly to cure me of my infirmity.  Though I’ll always be a “manesiolic”, through her assistance I have learned to live a semi-normal life.

No other simple task reveals the tragedy of manesia than a trip to the grocery store.  If Laura were to simply tell me what to pick up, the odds of my quick return with every requested item in hand are miniscule at best.  Hence, Laura has helped me tackle such a task with a simple, yet essential tool: the list.

The list allows all victims of manesia the opportunity to overcome their condition.  When I forget, I just look down at the list and like magic, I remember!  The feeling of elation is absolutely liberating!

This verse, written to a man (although obviously applicable to both genders) is like a spiritual grocery list.  It’s like God knows that we are prone to forget what’s important.  Forget?  No way!  I would never zone out and forg . . . . ooooh, look– a birdie!  Yeah, I know you feel the effects of this disease too.

It hits you when you get home from church, completely confident of what direction God is leading you.  Ten minutes later, you find yourself questioning your worth and your call.  In one moment, you are certain that the person you are dating is completely wrong for you in every way imaginable . . . even your dog doesn’t like them.  One phone call later, you’re “baby-talking” them like an idiot. Manesia strikes again!  

So, consider this your grocery list.  “Get wisdom.”  Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  I think I got distracted by the Goo-Goos on aisle eleven.  In other words, don’t fill your cart with worthless things; in all situations we must pursue God’s wisdom first.  Not second.  Not after our lives are already filled with the junk of our own shopping decisions.  Negative . . . dude, look at the list.  Get wisdom.

Next on the list, run by the Photo Lab and “develop” some “good judgment.”  Nice!  Good judgment isn’t just purchased; it develops over time.  Yeah, sorry guys, but this particular shopping trip is going to be a long one.  Grab the wisdom and then take the time to develop good judgment.  The wise ones in my life have taught me that most things worthwhile don’t happen instantaneously; they take time.  If you ever feel that you must act right now . . . LIKE RIGHT NOW . . . there’s a good chance that good judgment may be close to passing you by.  Hey, if it’s right, give it time to develop.

And finally, don’t lose the list!  (Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.)  Now that’s an embarrassing phone call.  

Uh, honey?”

“Did you forget to get something?”

“Uh, sort of.”

“What did you forget?”

“Well . . . everything?  I sort of lost the list.”

Long, awkward silence.


Listen, in order to manage this infernal condition, we must hold to “the list” at all times.  That means constantly reviewing and reminding ourselves of what God has said.  Yeah, that’s the daily connection to God through prayer and through His Word.  Hey, don’t trust yourself . . . you’re just thirty seconds from forgetting that you’re reading this right now!

By clinging to the gracious words that God has written for us, we can live a life that is anything but normal.  Hey, who wants to be normal anyway?

Ask your doctor (or mom, wife, sister, etc.) if manesia is something you need help for.  You’ll be glad you did.




~ by johndriver on September 19, 2008.

3 Responses to “Managing “Man”esia”

  1. It was the first line that struck me right from the very beginning – “My father taught me.” Since my dad was just in town, this may be a little fresher for me, but I”m thankful for all of the things my father has taught me over the years. Some lessons were easier and more jovial than others. Some, well, they “hurt” a little more if you catch my drift.

    It also struck me that now that I am a father, I have the honor, and the responsibility, to impart some knowledge on my own children. Sometimes that task seems insurmountable – like when I’ve told them for the bazillionth time to pick up their clothes or brush their teeth. While that kind of knowledge is important and definitely beneficial to their future, it pales in comparison to teaching them about the Love of Christ and His sacrifice. If I teach them nothing else in life, I pray that THAT knowledge is something I teach them that they remember.

  2. No matter how independent someone is, you have to be dependent on God to make it through life. We think that we have to be responsible enough to do everything perfect in life without having to have God remind us. We should realize that God wants us to depend on him and trust in him for our daily tasks. A task that God gives us to do will be challenging anyways. Those tasks are tools to help us learn that one of our responsibilities is to depend on God. I’m not a man (obviously), but in spiritual terms every person struggles with this. 🙂

  3. “If you ever feel that you must act right now . . . LIKE RIGHT NOW . . . there’s a good chance that good judgment may be close to passing you by. Hey, if it’s right, give it time to develop.” I hate waiting when I think I know what’s right. “seasons” of development suck, but I know they’re for the better.

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