Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)
TITLE: And the Winner is...
By Karri Compton
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Chattering ladies and their spouses sat at dozens of tables around the elegant ballroom. This would be a night to remember in the small town of St. Clair.
“Oh, Deloris, I hope you win,” Mae said in a hushed tone at their exquisitely decorated table. “You really are the most qualified. You’ve got a business degree, managerial experience, and you’ve gone to so many leadership conferences, I’ve lost count. And, of course, I’m not just saying that because you’re my sister.”
“Well, if I do say so myself, I can’t see anyone winning it but me, either,” Deloris confessed. “Lois and Judy and some of the others are tough competition, but Helen Pass frankly doesn’t stand a chance.” Both let a small chuckle escape.
Two tables over, four older ladies and their husbands discussed the award. Mr. Morgan smiled adoringly at his wife, Judy. “Dear, you’ve been a wonderful addition to the Chamber of Commerce, the St. Clair Board of Education, and now the town council. Your winning smile and political savvy give you a far better chance of winning than anyone else here. Especially Helen Pass. I mean no offense, but can you believe that someone actually nominated her? She’s never held a position of authority that I remember.” Everyone at the table nodded their agreement.
At the next table, Lois Trundle explained at her friends’ request all of the charities to which she had contributed. “God’s blessed me so much, you know. I was thrilled to start the new Cancer Center at the hospital and the Trundle Soup Kitchen downtown. In fact, Helen Pass is one of my volunteers. She’s a sweet lady, but not really leader material.”
“Oh, Lois, you’re a shoo-in for this award. You’ve given more money in this community than anyone I know,” crooned Lois’ best friend, Alice.
The crowd stilled as Jane Jeffries stepped back up to the microphone. “Well, friends, what a night this has been! But I’m sure you’re ready to get down to business. All of our nominees were noteworthy, but one surpassed them all. This year’s recipient has been a great asset to our town and to St. Clair Community Church, where she has been a member for 20 years. She is frequently behind the scenes, making sure the projects she is involved with are accomplished with efficiency and grace. All who know her well agree that she is an encouragement to them. So, without further ado, I’m happy to announce the winner of the First Annual Christian Ladies’ Leadership Award. And the winner is…Mrs. Helen Pass!”
Applause and cheers thundered from every table except the ones that Deloris, Judy, and Lois sat around. Bewildered looks and awkward glances accompanied their half-hearted claps.
Jane gave up her place at the microphone to the blushing victor. “Helen, congratulations. Would you please be kind enough to say a few words?”
“Thank you. Thank you all so much. I never in my life dreamed that I would be standing in front of so many people to accept an award. I’m humbled and honored that anyone would consider me. Anything I say will soon be forgotten, so I’ll leave you with words from the Scriptures. After James and John asked to sit next to Jesus in His kingdom, Jesus had something interesting to say. He said that whoever wanted to become great among them must be a servant, just as He had not come to be served, but to serve. Our great example of a servant-leader is Christ, and I pray that I can, in even a small way, represent Him in this community. Again, thank you and God bless you.”
“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” – Matthew 19:30, NIV
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