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Admittedly, it takes some skill to follow a detailed recipe. And with much practice we can gain the technical skills needed to play a complex piece of music. But technical proficiency is not the same as mastering the art of something. And often we must return to the basic building blocks of life to learn how to navigate the many complex realities that come our way. 

To be sure, following a recipe doesn’t make us a great baker any more than learning how to play a song makes us a great musician. Even if what we produce is just as good, it doesn’t come from the same place. And so, our work remains shallow and brittle – unable to improvise or be creative as needed in the moment. 

On the other hand, a true master of his arts knows the fundamentals of his craft. He does not simply follow a recipe or a score, though he can. He knows how to generate creative works on their own. And this gives him greater freedom to meet the needs of the moment. 

It seems in much of life we’ve been merely given technical skills, which look good on paper but don’t prepare us for the complex realities of life and relationships. 

For instance, we simply learn how to do a particular job rather than also learning how to use our strength to bring more life and goodness wherever we go. As such, we often feel stuck doing the same thing rather than experiencing the freedom to go wherever the Spirit leads us. 

Likewise, even our understanding of manhood is often reduced to stereotypes and tropes – mere social formulas of what we think it means to be a man. And without a deeper appreciation of our masculine design, our pride quickly takes a hit when we don’t live up to the stereotypical expectations of manhood. 

Whatever it looks like, understanding the foundational building blocks of who we are allows us to be resourceful and creative. Impotence is knocking at the door without this foundation and when our current scripts start to no longer work.

In the end, remember the Why behind your What – the basic building blocks of your life that give you creative freedom and not just a singular recipe to follow.  

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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