Ginger Baker

   Watched a documentary on world-famous drummer Ginger Baker titled “Beware of Mr. Baker.” Not what I expected; profoundly sad. Conclusive proof that achieving the pinnacle of fame, success, and top echelon in your art, including producing a portfolio of Awesome Work, is not in itself fulfilling. Not. Fulfilling. 

   Ginger Baker achieved greatness on drums. Performed the world’s stages with the band Cream. He had women by the hundreds yearning to perform nasty lusts in group orgies. Best of clothes, driving down a coastal road in a European sports car with three beautiful women, etc.–…but he was unable to sustain a relationship. Love? Nope. Wife & children? Yes, but he deserted them. Relationships were broken off. His son, Kofi Baker, spoke openly of wanting a relationship with his Dad, had several stints with him, once in Italy, once in Colorado, even when they played together, father & son on drums. But Ginger broke it off with hard words—”You’re no good on drums, you’ll never be good like me, and NO! I don’t want to be with you.”—and off went Ginger Dad, leaving his son behind. 

   Later the same night, on social media, I saw a scene from someone’s favorite TV show Fresh Prince, where Wil Smith, living at his wealthy uncle’s home in Bel Air, is visited by his Dad. They were supposed to go on a trip together, but the Dad is canceling the trip with an apologetic lie of “just a few weeks, something has come up, I need to…it may be more than a few weeks, but I—’ll get back to you.”     “Sorry, son,” says the Dad.     “It’s ok, Leo,” says Fresh Prince, calling his father by his first name.

   The Dad leaves, and the uncle comes in to comfort Fresh Prince, who in anger will have none of it. He rants about not needing the Dad—”I learned how to tie my own shoes, learned how to ride a bike without him, I don’t need him. I got through high school without him, I’ll get through college and get married and have kids and love those kids, and I don’t need him.” Fury. Rejecting the uncle, pushing the uncle away, in furious independence, stare down defiance [while the uncle does not take offense but sympathetically stands his ground]—and then Fresh Prince falls into his uncle’s arms and asks in pleading frustration, “Why doesn’t he want to be with me????”

   —If I did a talk for men, I’d include film clips of Ginger on the high life, Ginger on the low life—the shot where they show his sorrowful eyes…the clip of Fresh Prince…and consider it the call of God for men to be Fathers. 

   Here’s the call: Forgive your Dads if they abandoned you. LOVE God your Father in heaven as He loves You. Love your family and your neighbors as you wish you were loved (this will call for holy sacrifice, which you shall find short-term frustrating but in the end quite fulfilling and ultimately, in God’s timeframe, which perhaps may make no sense to you—rewarding, both here and abroad (heaven)

   How do we do this? 

   Three-step model for manhood:     

   1. Love God—allow yourself to be mentored by your Heavenly Father through his Word, in concert with counseling by the Holy Spirit.        

   2. Look to Jesus as your role model, your friend, your older brother, your royal connection…in fact, your King…the King of Everyone. Grow to know him, and your respect will expand, your awe will engulf you, you’ll fall to your knees. Listen: fall to your knees—he will raise you up. But stay standing in defiance, and you’ll be forced to your knees.         

   3. Be a Spirit-filled Lover. Love your wife (if you have one), love your children, love your neighbors. Love your community if you’re in one—and if you’re not in one, get in one! 

   To do these things: you gotta be a man. A man’s man. God’s man.    When you do these things, you might experience deprivation. 

   For Example:      

   —You may want ‘conjugal relations,’ but your wife’s hurting right now, and kindness to her means saying no to your need.     

   —You may be exhausted and want to go to sleep, but your son wants to talk—he’s been mute all day, and NOW he wants to talk. You’re hungry, you’re tired, you want to go to sleep….but Jesus did the same thing, exhausted & hungry, wanting solitude—people needed him, and he felt compassion, so he said, ‘I’ll sleep later.   

    -Your wife’s overweight, you’re bored, and your laptop is a gateway to a fantasy world of femininity. Say no to delusional respite. Springtime comes & goes, summer fades, and now comes the harvest—a life of bitterness, solitude, loneliness, regrets, shallow relationships—where are those fantasy witches now?? that was BS! and I’m so alone, so alone, so alone…if only I could turn back time…        

   Listen: you cannot turn back time, but you can turn to God—turn away from that BS and turn to God. He will take you NOW, he will forgive you NOW—those summers are gone, but now you are forgiven, you’re a runaway child returning home to (surprise) a Father who loves you, and you can Love again, and love going forward; you can contribute in a meaningful way, a life of Loving God, Looking to Jesus as Your role model, and Being a Spirit-Filled LOVER.

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