A Man’s Public Manifestation Of His Faith
However he seeks answers to the questions we all ask ourselves about the meaning of life (what the QSource calls the WHAT-WHAT), the Q does not go about it alone. He recognizes that a man who believes in the efficacy of Prayer and seeks truth through Study must proclaim his allegiance to the promulgator of both. He does this through Meeting , the public manifestation of his faith.
There Are Abundant Reasons Not To Meet
There are logistical obstacles to Meeting. A man has to get his family up in time, fed and in the car. He then has to park and find a place in the pew without killing one of his Shorties first.
Having fought through the logistical obstacles, he may then ask himself why he bothered. He often finds himself sitting next to someone he doesn’t much like, someone with whom he would never voluntarily socialize. He may not like the way the service is conducted or the message that is disseminated. He has other things he could be doing—maybe things that he should be doing. Why should he work so hard to get to a place that provides him so little?
The Q knows these reasons not to Meet (and many others), yet he persists in doing so because he also knows that Meeting has a purpose of its own that has nothing to do with his Happiness and everything to do with the Outcome for which he is responsible as a Community Leader.
There Are Three Very Good Reasons TO Meet
1. To Transfer Positive Habits To His Children
When a boy grows up to be a man he can and will make his own decisions about whether to Meet, just as he will make his own decisions about Fitness and Fellowship. And just as those decisions will be heavily influenced by what he saw his father do when he was a boy, so shall his decisions about Faith be a reflection of the seriousness with which his father took his role as the spiritual Leader of the household.
A man may believe himself to be a man of Faith, but if he does not model it for his Shorties, the habit will be unlikely to transfer.
2. To Strengthen His Brothers
We all have our ups and downs. We spend some of our time on the mountaintop of our Faith-life, when we want to share our Joy with every stranger we meet. But we also have to slog through valleys of spiritual dryness, when all we really want to be is left alone to lick our wounds.
Ironically, it’s those latter times (when Meeting is the last thing we want to do) that are the times when we most need to be there, so that we can share the strength of our Brothers who might just be on their own mountaintop. How much easier it is to reach up from the pit when a Brother is reaching down to meet us.
The odd thing the Q discovers when he summons the discipline to Meet despite being in a valley is that there will be inevitably be a man there for whom the valley is an even darker and deeper place. Confronted by that man more deeply in need than himself, the Q forgets his own woe to minister to him, and in the momentary forgetting of himself, POOF, find himself back on his own mountaintop.
This is the magic of Faith and the secret sauce to why F3 is an Effective Organization. The Joy of forgetting oneself in service of another surpasses all understanding.
3. To Embolden The Shepherd And Hold Him Accountable
Every musician plays to his audience whether he realizes it or not. What effect on the heart of a spiritual Leader to look into the front row of his flock and see the strongest men he knows in his Community sitting there? Would that not make him bold, to know that he has the support of the men upon whom he would most be able to rely in the time of need?
Conversely, would not the absence of the Qs lead the shepherd to grow timid in his willingness to speak boldly and provide truth to the flock? Would he not reshape his message to appeal to those who are there?
It Is Really Very Simple
The Q believes in Meeting because he is Committed to Living Third—the consistent and deliberate placement of himself third in line behind his Creator and his Community.