Tuesday, May 29, 2007

House Calls and Speedways

"I'm the pastor, so you have to let me win."

It sounded like an ultimatum. But what could I do? Banish him from Sunday School? Withhold prayers and preaching? Ask that he be given no snacks during the fellowship time? Any consequence I might lay out would only sound childish. And since he was the six-year old, I figured I should probably play nicely.

"My son is a world champion at Mario Kart," the father boasted. I was pretty good myself; I owned a copy of the game and expected to hold my ground. Besides, I was the pastor here--the spiritual guide and reverend of the roadway. My job description intimated something about being the "authority on all things."

I put my racing gloves on and took a seat in front of the television.

The good news is that I was never lapped. That bad news is I was unable to scheme my way into a victory: I tried sarcasm, whining, poking his eyes and stealing his controller, but to no effect. I was never even close.

When I returned home, I poured through my ministry syllabus, looking for the section on how to respond to defeat. "Get used to it," it said. The text was bold.

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