Twelve early risers showed up for (what they thought would be) an energized session from Turning Point’s resident Viking; the other two were in on the switch. This would be DARPA’s day to lead the pillaging.
The night before, while dutifully checking the TP message board, I came across a note from my dear friend, and furniture shopping “partner” (don’t ask), Canseco. To save you the time of scrolling, the gist was him wondering when I would ever take the lead on a workout, noting that the only times I’d missed since joining the group ~7 months ago were when Roadhouse was awaiting test results for the “you know what.” Mind you, had Canseco messaged me privately about Q’ing, I more than likely would have lobbed a noncommittal reply his way. But, he chose to challenge me in the public square. This required a response. My initial thought was to call HQ and see if we had any airborne drones in the region.
After mulling it over, I texted Sunday Driver the following: “Ok with you if we pull a last minute switcheroo on the q in the morning? Canseco called me out. Need to make him pay for it.” The gracious Viking was more than happy to oblige.
As the circle began to form, bleary-eyed men heard the familiar, “my name is Sunday Driver, I’m not a professional…,” then they heard something new: “so I’m going to hand it off to someone even less of a professional…DARPA.” After a left-handed fist bump (the designated secret handshake of last-minute Q changes), the course was chiseled in stone. Confusion became audible. Some probably questioned whether they were dreaming. The prayer was finished with “…and God, please forgive me for what I’m about to do to these men.”
Initial instructions were to jog to the block pile, grab a block, and line up at the first soccer goal. Let’s rewind a few months. I recall being encouraged, very persistently and enthusiastically, to sign up for the 2020 Iron Pax Challenge. Note: a lesser man might have used “coerced,” or even “peer pressured,” but I would never stoop so low.
“If you’re anything like me,” said the Q, “you’re sad that the Iron Pax Challenge only comes around once a year. Well, today, we’re going to relive some of the highlights. Welcome to Part One of the Greatest Hits of Iron Pax 2020.” For those keeping score at home, this is where confusion began to yield to collective resentment and disdain.
The progression was simple, but effective. The first round included:
- A lap around the track, ending back at the blocks
- Murder bunnies to the far soccer goal, then 50 merkins
- Rifle carry back to the first goal, then 40 big boy situps
- Continue the sequence (dropping by 10) until back at the original spot
The second round was arranged the same way, substituting curls for merkins, and squats for big boy situps.
Just as the festivities commenced, “Canseco…I hate you” could be heard echoing from the far side of the field. Legend has it that the voice resembled that of Turning Point’s official legal counsel. But that doesn’t reflect the formal record, because: a) it was dark; and, b) I’m not keen on being sued for libel.
Sunday Driver and Pick Axe showed the rest of us how it was done. Everyone pushed, even though disbelief at the circumstances still hung heavily in the air.
Back at the shovel flag, we finished with some boat/canoe/man overboard (the latter being a tribute to a joke Wapner made a few weeks back).
God placed men at the heads of families, and not by accident. Being a leader takes strength, and courage. Too frequently men (myself included) are inclined to settle for being protectors and providers. When our energy and effort are channeled into those noble (but not wholly fulfilling) functions, we too often shirk the most important role to which we’ve been assigned: that of spiritual guide to our families. For perspective, it’s the only job among the three that has eternal consequences, both for ourselves, and (soberingly) our loved ones.
Two questions were put to the circle to stimulate reflection:
- 1) If someone asked your children if their father was a Christian, what would they say?
- 2) More revealingly, if the answer is “yes,” the follow up is: “how do you know?”
Occasionally going to church, and irregularly reciting a nursery-rhyme version of Grace before meals isn’t going to cut it. You are the primary examples of how your children come to understand what it means to be a Christian. Pause here and think about that for a moment. Children observe everything, and they take mental notes that shape their development. Your sons are turning to you to decide what it looks like to be a Christian, and a man. They’ll carry the version you present into leadership positions in their own families, sooner than you realize. And those of you with daughters? You’re the model for the men they’ll consider taking as husbands.
This means everything you do (or don’t do) has generational repercussions beyond what your years on this planet will allow you to personally witness. I know the temptation of shrugging and saying, “I take them to church; they go to Sunday school.” While these acts are helpful, they’re nowhere near enough. Sermons can be so general (and veer into “self-help” lecture territory) as to be unrelatable to a curious child looking for answers. And, I’ve seen firsthand that many Sunday school classes are nothing more than daycares with Noah’s Ark coloring books.
Men, you are ordained by God Himself to be the central spiritual teachers of your households. Remember that the next time you tuck your little (or, not so little, as in the case of Roadhouse) crumb crunchers into bed. They’re warm and cozy. They’re well fed and clean (thanks to Mom, probably). Are they learning what it means to the soul to have a personal relationship with Christ?