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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

By Teresa Hollums



“And I just wanted to thank all of you for your understanding of my impatience and worry about the Christmas cantata this year,” the somewhat chubby choir director, Don, said as he continued to wipe the sweat off his brow from his intense overexertion in the choir practice. “I know I do this every year and I know I get too involved and want us all to do so well…”

The entire choir nodded in assent at this very open confession of worry from their dear choir director. Every member of the choir knew of his devotion to God, his poor physical condition, and his tendency to be an overachiever in his presentation of the big Christmas cantata each year. This year everyone’s eyes drifted over even to the very large puppet head of a donkey. Don had rewritten the entire musical score using his computer to be in perfect range for each of his major part singers. He had even rewritten much of what he had already written when he felt that it needed to be even more perfect once the choir had sung it.

“Hey, Don, do you really want us to dress like the Mary Poppin’s era even at our next rehearsal? I still can’t find that bow tie you wanted us to wear,” asked one of the younger men of the choir.

“And, Don, I really can’t wear a hat when I do my solo because it makes me sweat too much,” added another woman in the choir.

Don looked slightly exasperated. (He often looked exasperated at this time of the year.)
Then he thought a little longer and the choir could tell he was again weighing what he had said only moments ago about asking the choir to be patient with him. He knew that he also had to have patience with each one of his very sweet, but frustrating choir members. Again he told himself that he knew this Christmas cantata was very difficult for the majority of his choir. Very few of them could even read music. Yet, they were willing to possibly make fools of themselves if they made a mistake.

“O.K., let’s just say, bring your costumes and make them look as much like that time period in England as you can. We certainly want you to sing more than we want you to match perfectly in costumes. I know you will do all as much as you can to comply with my requests. You seem to rise to the occasion every Christmas.”

Then one of the choir member looked at the dear, overly-serious choir director. “We all know very well why we can finally make a good cantata each year—God is really blessing us and using us to tell his story. It is easy when we can turn our worry into praise. For the real reason we can even sing is that we love him.”

“That’s exactly correct, Mary, and it should be easy if we just remember our songs are really in praise to our savior. And now let’s end our choir rehearsal with a prayer:” All bowed their heads, not only in assent, but also in praise to God. “And, dear God, please help us to remember you are the real reason we sing. Make us mindful, not of ourselves, egos, and worry, but of your graciousness in allowing us to have the privilege of praising this baby that means so much to all of us. Guide us and keep us close to you and in your care. Amen”

And the entire choir responded, “Amen.”

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This article has been read 533 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom12/13/07
Loved the last paragraph, keep at it.
Jan Ross12/16/07
Nice story! Sounds like it could have actually happened (at least it sounds like some churches I'm acquainted with). Your first sentence was a bit wordy. Starting out with a good, to-the-point sentence to grab your reader's attention might work better. Little things like that is what makes a good writer a great writer, and you've got what it takes! :) Christmas blessings!
Jan Ackerson 12/17/07
Realistic and sweet, with a great ending. A little bit more back-and-forth dialog between the choir director and the choir would show your readers his frustration more clearly.
JoAnne Potter12/18/07
Amen indeed! We've all been there.