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Be a Cycle Breaker

Be a Cycle Breaker

The first thing I remember was asking papa why,  
for there were many things I didn't know.
And daddy always smiled, and took me by the hand, 
saying someday you'll understand. 

Well I'm here to tell you now each and every mother's son
you'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young, 
'cause someday never comes. 

Well time and tears went by, and I collected dust
for there were many things I didn't know. 
When daddy went away, he said try to be a man
and someday you'll understand. 

Well I'm here to tell you now each and every mother's son
you'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young,
'cause someday never comes.

And then one day in April, I wasn't even there
for there were many things I didn't know. 
A son was born to me, mama held his hand, 
sayin someday, you'll understand. 

Well I'm here to tell you now each and every mother's son
you'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young,

'cause someday never comes
s
omeday, never comes.

Think it was September, the year I went away
for there were many things I didn't know. 
And I still see him standin, tryin to be a man
I said, someday you'll understand .

Well I'm here to tell you now each and every mother's son
you'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young,
'cause someday never comes
someday, never comes.

Someday Never Comes
- John Fogerty, CCR, 1972 

 

If you haven't heard this epic from Creedence Clearwater Revival I encourage you to give it a listen; if you have heard it before or are already a fan I would encourage you to hear it again for the first time. Fogerty wrote the song about his own life, moving from his parents divorce to his own, the pain of his inability to break the cycle clearly evident in his voice, and in later live performances seen on YouTube, in his eyes as well.

I grew up a CCR fan as my parents are CCR fans, and while I have always liked this song, in my many years of listening I never shared nor felt Fogerty's pain. I suppose I am a Fortunate Son of sorts; my parents are happily married and I never had to deal with the repercussions of a divorce and a father leaving the home. I have a great relationship with my dad, and I am thankful that he was and is a part of my life. Having said as much, this song has certainly taken on a new meaning over the past year as I now have a 10 month old son of my own; the lyrics and pain in Fogerty's voice now touch me in ways that I was immune to before. 

Think it was September, the year I went away
for there were many things I didn't know.
And I still see him standin, tryin to be a man
I said, someday you'll understand

I can now imagine the pain Fogerty must have felt at that very moment, again unable to break the cycle and walking away from his own son as his father did to him. I now think of my son when I hear the song and the above verse specifically, and the pain and sorrow I might feel if I were in Fogerty's shoes, walking away from my son's life. I think about my little man's smile, I think about his laughs, I think about him getting excited when I come home from a long day and crawling over to the door to greet me, I think about the pain I would feel if not able to experience those precious moments that make fatherhood special. These lyrics now bring a tear to my eye as I think about the millions of men in this country who have left behind their sons and daughters, and with divorce rates hovering around 50% in the US the pain will undoubtedly continue for generations to come. 

Thus my thoughts today deal with the idea being a cycle breaker, and it starts with you. It starts with you, right now, no matter your stage of life, previous relationships, or current marital status. Sons and daughters need fathers in the home, regardless of what a certain segment of our population will tell us, and the statistics are hard to deny for anyone looking at the facts objectively, and without bias. As any debate pro worth their podium will tell you, the outliers and exceptions should never be used to prove the rule, and while yes, some children do thrive without a father in the home, for the majority this simply is not so. 

Be a cycle breaker. Yes, the pain can end with you. If you are a man reading this right now I challenge you to step up and be the one who breaks the cycle, be the one who commits, be the one who decides to stay, and be the father that your sons and daughters need in their lives. There comes a time in every man's life where he must draw a line in the sand, and come hell or high water he must fight to hold the line, and stay with them. Have you made your decision? Will you close? 

Testosterone, when harnessed for the good of humanity, is beautiful sight to behold, and there are few more epic moments in life than when a man draws said line, stands firm, and commits to fight the good fight to keep his family together. As men we were made to fight, and while we no longer carry swords and shields, we can and should fight for our fellow man, for just causes, for our wives, and for our children. Harness your anger. Harness your energy. Harness the power that is within you as a man and channel it towards vocation, family, and a cause dear to your heart. 

I co-lead a men's only Bible study here in Lynchburg, and after each session we discuss strategic moves and next steps to better ourselves as men, and I will do the same today. A few action steps to get started:  

  1. Draw a line in the sand and take a stand - the cycle stops with you. Every great achievement starts with a defining moment of decision and action...a marriage that lasts until death do you part is no different. 
  2. Make great life decisions. Calculate with logic and reason. We all know right and wrong...Choose what is right, choose what is just.  
  3. Love your wife. See point number 2. Some days you may feel as though this is a decision you  make, as unromantic as it may seem. Make it anyway. 
  4. Unpack the suitcase of pain that every man carries with him. Come to terms with your past. If you have a strained or broken relationship with your own father, ease his pain. Do the best you can to heal old wounds. More often than not this healing is needed to break the cycle. 
  5. Harness your energy. Bottle your Testosterone and turn it towards healthy outlets...perhaps industry, sport, exercise, or productive hobbies. 
  6. Find a team. The road of life is best traveled with a band of brothers. Find trustworthy men with whom you can form deep, intimate relationships. Many men have surface level friends, but few have a group they can "do life with." Having trouble finding these types of men? Email me and I will offer some tips specific to your location and interests. Help me to help you. 

Someday Never Comes has struck a deep chord in me since the day my son was born, and I believe it will touch you in similar ways as well. Thank you for the song, John, it is beautiful in its simplicity and rawness of emotion, and while you were unable to prevent the pain from happening in your own life, perhaps there are countless thousands of men whom you have helped by writing about it, their lives forever impacted by your journey and willingness to share your heart.

As always, thank you for reading. If you know a man who is on the brink, by all means, share this article and song with him. Pray for him. Pray for his family. It pains me to see so many children growing up in fatherless homes, and I am calling on all men in this country to step up, draw a line in the sand, take a stand, fight the good fight, make the commitment, and do it now, now, now. Someday, as Fogerty reminds us, never comes. 

 

 

 

 

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