Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)
TITLE: A Day in the Life of Joe Christian
By Ebony Murdoch
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“We need someone to visit the elderly and shut-in,” the pastor would say.
“I’ll do it!” shouted Joe, jumping from his seat.
“We also need someone to sweep the church on Saturday nights.”
“I can do it!” Joe said again, grinning.
“Who is available to serve snacks in Children’s church?”
Joe’s hand shot into the air, until the girl next to him whispered, “Hey! Give someone else a turn.” He blushed and lowered his arm.
Joe had just finished high school. He planned to work hard and save up for college. Of course, things had changed now that he knew Jesus. What if he was called to preach or go into world missions? He wanted to be busy, like the disciples were when Jesus told them to quit fishing.
On Monday, Joe woke up bright and early. It was to be his first day on the job at the hardware store. He was excited.
“Good morning, Lord,” he said, leaping from bed.
He stepped into the walk-in closet, pulled the doors behind him, and knelt down to pray. He emerged five minutes later with a peaceful smile. He showered, ate breakfast, and headed out to the car.
Joe figured it wasn’t a good idea to start preaching to customers at the register. He didn’t want to get fired. There were other ways to show his faith. So he put on his Ichthys shirt, a chain with a cross pendant, and a cap that read, “Jesus saves.” He also plastered the rear bumper of his car with colorful stickers that said things like, “Don’t wait for the hearse take you to church.” Finally, he walked around with a giant bible under his arm. No, he wouldn’t preach that day. He had to wait for the right moment—maybe in a week or two.
At lunch time, Joe realized he didn’t have any money for a sandwich. He didn’t’ want to ask his new boss, but his stomach was grumbling. He prayed and waited, pacing the street where the store was located. As he neared the corner, there, on the ground, was a five-dollar bill. “Imagine the luck!” he thought. Then he realized that it was a miracle and nearly wept because God loved him enough to send lunch money.
When he told his friends, who had been saved for years, they yawned. “Yeah, that happens a lot at first. Just wait. After a while, you’ll need more than lunch money and He’s not going to just give it to you like that.” He ignored them.
Joe got home just in time for dinner with his family. His dad was watching sports on TV, cussing at the losers and tossing back beers. His mom was on the phone gossiping. His younger sister was texting the boy she was forbidden to see. Joe was filled with hurt, love, and righteous indignation. He had to <i>do</i> something! Somebody had to show them the light.
“It’s always best to take the direct approach,” he thought. So he told them that they were sinning, and that God hated sin. “Don’t preach to me,” his mother quipped. “Did you take out the trash? I only asked you to do it <i> five </i>times.”
By that time, Joe was discouraged. He had expected conviction, conversion, revival! Instead, they were offended and angry. He sat on the porch to clear his head, then apologized and emptied the trash.
That night before bed, Joe prepared to read the Bible. He didn’t know what to read, so he closed his eyes, felt along the edges of the book and split it open at random.
“Whatever my eyes land on first, that’s what God is saying.”
Unfortunately, it landed in the middle of Jeremiah. It was about woe and judgment.
“That can’t be right,” he thought. “Best two out of three.”
He tried again. In fact, he kept on closing his eyes, feeling the pages, and splitting the book until he landed on something comforting. Finally, he settled on Ecclesiastes 8:17 (NLT): “I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.”
And that about summed up his day.
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