The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.
It is not uncommon for pastors to be given books to read or to be asked what they think about certain books. In most cases, the books I have received I spend more time trying to figure out a diplomatic way to say, “I am not interested in reading that book,” but recently I was given a book by a member of our church that I found to be very encouraging.
When my brother-in-Christ Brian Fitzgerald presented a book to me a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning, I internally groaned thinking, “Uh, a novel!” You see, I am not a big fan of novels.
Brian’s son is the author (Jack G.M. Fitzgerald) of this book entitled Heroes in the Dark. Jack Fitzgerald hails from my new hometown of Wichita, KS but currently resides on the East Coast where he is stationed at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) as a physicist and project manager for Technical Reachback, a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) and WMD analysis center. (Sounds like he may have a few stories, huh?)
Anyway, his novel of 272 pages tells the story of a man named Stephen Frederickson who is a post-college man still living with his parents and entrenched in the virtual world of video games and social networking. Stephen’s life is a digital one. Stephen is a template of so many young men today who are wasting their brain cells with digital gaming and rarely engaging people relationally on a daily basis.
So Stephen’s life seems to be going well until he meets a man named Thomas, who sparks a desire for change. The meaning of life is questioned; the existence of God is discussed; the definition of real relationships is given attention. And Stephen’s mental life is turned upside down.
As Stephen wrestles with a form of real masculinity, he meets a young woman named Anne who he longs to impress and becomes attracted to. Through her simplicity and genuineness, Stephen’s life begins to change for the better.
The story of Stephen’s life is a tale I pray that God brings to many young men I know.
It is a book that calls for men to leave behind what the world has convinced them is masculine toughness (e.g., killing bad guys in video games, engaging in pornography online, etc.) and to embrace a deeper, more real and moral lifestyle that is worthy of emulation and calls for further inspiration.
I recommend this book to all young men who are struggling with still being boys.
I recommend this book to all older men who have young men headed down the wrong path.
I recommend this book to all women looking for a young man to marry to help educate them on the signs of concerning behavior to look for.
Thank you Brian for giving me this book. And thank you to Brian’s son Jack for writing it.