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Christian Counseling: One View Of A Man's Heart

The poet, Don Blanding, wrote these revealing words of a man's struggle with two selves at war with each other. This man in the poem is led by his flesh and not the Spirit, yet it helps us understand what many men battle within themselves and yields insights about how to talk to them about the alternative of Christ who can help calm the two spirits. 

How very simple life would be
If only there were two of me
A Restless Me to drift and roam
A Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill

Of varied skies and new found thrill
While sane and homely things are done
By the domestic Other One.

And that's just where the trouble lies;
There is a Restless Me that cries
For chancy risks and changing scene,
For arctic blue and tropic green,
For deserts with their mystic spell,
For lusty fun and raising Hell,

But shackled to that Restless Me
My Other Self rebelliously
Resists the frantic urge to move.
It seeks the old familiar groove
That habits make. It finds content
With hearth and home — dear prisonment,
With candlelight and well-loved books
And treasured loot in dusty nooks,

With puttering and garden things
And dreaming while a cricket sings
And all the while the Restless One
Insists on more exciting fun,
It wants to go with every tide,
No matter where…just for the ride.
Like yowling cats the two selves brawl
Until I have no peace at all.

One eye turns to the forward track,
The other eye looks sadly back.
I'm getting wall-eyed from the strain,
(It's tough to have an idle brain)
But One says "Stay" and One says "Go"
And One says "Yes," and One says "No,"
And One Self wants a home and wife
And One Self craves the drifter's life.

The Restless Fellow always wins
I wish my folks had made me twins.

Some questions to ponder:

What do you think and feel after reading the poem?

Do some women feel similarly? If so, how is it different than men?

What is it that men really desire underneath the obvious (inner peace and enjoyment of life)?  Below the surface of restlessness could be such things as the desire or need for adventure, exploration, knowledge, security or connection with God.

In what ways do you struggle with two or more selves opposed to each other? This is something with which we all have difficulty and it is often spoke of as a war between flesh and spirit, yet there is more. Psychologically we all have a few divisions of personality, such as the outgoing me and the reserved me, or the happy, carefree one and the more melancholy one, the ideal and the real, etc.  

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