No Granny Man Here, Happy Birthday Pastor Mitchell

Our generation has witnessed the evolution of expressions used to capture the rapid growth of androgyny. In particular, terms that describe the transformation of the masculine personality into the fairer version. Here’s a few for good measure: Unisex, SNAG (sensitive new age guy), metrosexual, spornosexual (sporty/porno image), and of course the Governator’s old standby, girlie man. I’d like to add my own, one especially fitting now that Boomers are fading into their twilight years: granny man.

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Granny man is good because some guys are just too old to be called girlie man. Exhibit A, Paul McCartney. Even today at 72 you can’t miss him –his eat-vegetarian ads are everywhere. Paul McCartney is morphing into a wicked granny man right before our eyes. Sorry Beatles fan (don’t shoot the messenger). I know you prefer to view him as a cool, shaggy-haired, progressive, vintage hipster guy who happens to possess a surpassing kindness toward tasty animals. But I’m afraid a lot of us see something much less flattering –a person resembling something closer to Kate Middleton’s sensitive, grandmother.

It’s scary. Not just for Sir Paul but for all the men who accept this granny man mutation as a present day reality. Talk about low T!

In stark contrast to this, the book of Joshua chapter 14 tells us about one of the greatest anti-granny men ever, Caleb from the tribe of Judah. At 85 Caleb was still revving to fight for his inheritance. He was 40 years old when Moses sent him, Joshua and ten other spies to explore the land of Canaan. Only he and Joshua returned with a positive report, while the others frightened the people from entering the Promised Land with their tale of doom. So that day Moses promised Caleb, "The land of Canaan which you traveled will be yours because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord".

It took 45 years for that promise to be fulfilled. When Caleb finally saw the land that was to be his, he boldly announced, "I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can fight as well as I could then. So give me the mountain the Lord promised me."

In his later years Caleb still possessed a very manly, dogged fight in his spirit. There’s at least one good reason for that. In Hebrew the name Caleb comes from exactly the same word as dog (kelev), expressing the ferocity and bite in his nature. Also noteworthy here is that the first conversation in the hip-hop vernacular probably took place that day when Joshua turned to his friend and said, "Let’s do this, Dog (Caleb)". In any event, at 85 Caleb was still coming into his own.

There’s another patriarch I wish to acknowledge on this page; happy birthday to Pastor Wayman Mitchell. Pastor Mitchell turned 85 on October 9th. He is truly a modern day Caleb still taking mountains and chasing giants. No granny man here.