Post by Ross Wiseman
“Hey Daddy, win me a hat!” I was thrilled with the level of confidence my 11-year-old son had in good old dad tricking the age-guessing lady at Six Flags. “Sorry, buddy, we got a small problem.” Earlier in the day, while walking around with my 14-year-old daughter, we had already tricked this same lady, and tricked her good. “Sir, you look to me to be about 32.” Oh, yeah, I still got it. I win! “No, ma’am. I’m 40 and a half years old.” Who uses half years past one’s 21st birthday?
I do, especially after the amazing defeat of the guessing lady. I had to rub it in a little and bask in the win. My son couldn’t have cared less that I had already won a hat with my devilishly young looks; he was eyeballing a Batman hat and knew Daddy had what it took to bring that piece of fair fodder home.
“Come on, Dad! Get ’em to guess your weight?” Ummm….uh, yeah, not so sure I want to do that. “Daddy, I know you will trick her.” Well, I can’t let the little guy down, can I? “Ma’am, let’s guess my weight this time.” She looked me up and down, side to side and asked me if I ever played football. I’m thinking, “Is that a compliment or have I walked into midlife looking like one of those guys who ‘used to play’ football?” My six-pack has turned into a pony keg. You know the jokes. I said, “No, ma’am,” and to my surprise, she guessed 50 pounds lighter than I actually weigh. Either she is a horrible guesser or, dang it, I still got it….I win again! She goes to hand my boy his hat as she asks me to prove it. “Prove it?”
I climb up onto the scale and begin to realize that a small group has gathered. I’m thinking, “I’m a winner. Boom. I got two hats in one day. Boom. Take that, Six Flag’s guessing lady.” Now I have to get on the scale to prove to all these strangers that I am most definitely overweight. I got a hat, but I’m still fat. In that moment while proving I’m a winner, I felt like the biggest loser. Oh I know I’m a good dad, maybe even a great dad, but there are things I’m letting get in the way of being the best dad I can be. Had the lady not asked me to prove it, I would have walked away feeling like a double winner.
Many of us in our 40s have things we need to change to be our best for years to come. Oh, believe me, I was thrilled to be viewed as nearly a decade younger and 50 pounds lighter, but that moment on the scale made me realize some things in my life have gotten out of balance.
Ask yourself, what things in life are getting out of balance? Where are you winning, and where are you losing? As those answers come to mind, strive to not think of yourself too highly in the areas you are winning, but also don’t think too lowly of yourself for your struggles. At times, you will win, you’ll lose, and you’ll win again. I left the park that day determined to win again where it matters, and you can do the same.
With you on the journey.
Ross Wiseman is a father of four, the husband of one, and a pastor and friend to many. He has served as the founding and current pastor of Momentum Church since 2005. ross (at) momentumchurch.tv