Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)
TITLE: An Offer She Can't Refuse
By Sandy Ott
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Sara was battling inside. She had prayed for a year and half to find a new job and now that God had provided one she was feeling uncomfortable and ultimately ungrateful. Her boss is a nice guy. She likes what she does although sometimes she feels she is unequipped for the tasks. Thinking she asks too many questions, doubts about herself creep into her mind. She thinks she should know what to do and how to do it; after all she does have a degree in accounting.
“You may have the education but this position is still new to you. You have not dealt with estate taxes and some of the other things you work on now,” Beth said encouragingly. “God is providing a learning opportunity for you that, in time, may lead you places you have never dreamed.”
“I know”, Sara replied with a barely audible whisper. “I am just so awkward there. I don’t really know anyone. And, before you say it, I know it’s only been a few months, I need to give it more time.”
“Girl, I think you need a major dose of confidence and reminder of how great God’s love is.” Beth exclaims. It’s called the Walk to Emmaus. For three days and three nights you leave behind the worries and stresses of life and you spend that time with a community of women, just like you, who get to experience the all encompassing love of God.”
“Yea, you’ve told me about it before.” Sara hesitantly answers. “I’m just not sure it’s for me.”
“The fact that you don’t know if it is for you, is all the more reason for you to consider it. Go, checkout what He has in store for you. I promise you will not be disappointed!” The excitement in Beth’s voice was contagious. “They don’t lock you in or hold you captive. If you really don’t like it, you can leave. But, I will give you fair warning, even the most reluctant pilgrims who are filled with doubt Thursday evening end up wishing it would never end. They want to go shout to the world ‘God Loves Me and He Loves You Too’ by Sunday afternoon.”
“Just imagine, three whole days, having the love of God shown to you in tangible acts of service as you are cared for morning to night. All meals provided, home cooked I might add, and you get to hear, see and feel the presence of God through prepared talks, worship, prayer and times of sharing with other women seeking the same thing as you; the encouragement and reassurance of the extravagant love and infinite grace of God.”
“It truly is a small investment of your time for one weekend that could change your life. Go see for yourself. As your sponsor, I will pick you up and take you to the church. I will take care of anything you need me to at home while you are there so you have no need to worry. Please give the idea some thought. That’s all I ask,” Beth said, realizing she may be pushing too hard.
As she was driving home Sara considered the offer. What would be so bad about spending a few days with God, after all? Maybe Beth is right. Just maybe, I need a real shot in the arm, or kick in the behind to jump start my relationship with God. It’s possible that sacrificing my time and participating in a weekend like the Walk to Emmaus would be just what I need to regain focus.
Sara picked up her cell phone and dialed Beth’s number. Drawing in a deep breath she listened to the ringing on the other end.
“Hello Sara! Beth said.
Before Beth could say another word, and before she could change her mind, Sara blurted “I will go! I want to see for myself what you have been going on and on about with this Walk to Emmaus. Sign me up!”
A loud squeal came through the receiver. “You won’t regret it, Sara. I know you won’t! God won’t let you!”
The Walk to Emmaus, a three day experience, takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. The highly structured weekend is designed to strengthen and invigorate the faith of Christian people and, through them, their families, their congregations, and the world in which they live. Emmaus is an ecumenical approach that combines the efforts of laity and clergy to renew the church.
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