Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)
Conductor: “Sir, you can’t bring that!”
Passenger: “But it’s my luggage!”
Conductor: “But sir, you have five suitcases and one big box. You’re not allowed luggage on this trip.”
Passenger: “I’d never heard of a train that you couldn’t take luggage on. What kind of train is this anyway? I want to speak to someone in management? Who’s in charge?”
Conductor: “Management is very busy right now. There’s only one manager above me, and you’ll be meeting him soon enough. Then you can tell him all about it.”
Passenger: “My most valued assets are in these suitcases and box. They told me before I left that I’d be able to take them with me.”
Conductor: “Well, they were wrong.”
Passenger: “Do you know who I am? I’m one of the most wealthy and influential executives in my city.”
Conductor: “That doesn’t matter now. You’re no longer there, you’re here!”
Passenger: “We’ll just see about that!”
The passenger leaves and begins to look for the nearest exit. He runs from one end of the train station to the other and find no exit with which to vacate the train station. Exhausted, he runs back to the conductor.
Passenger: “What is this? How do you get out of this place?”
Conductor: “What’s the last thing you remember before coming here?”
Passenger: “Well, I was driving down route 69 - thinking of how my bank account was fattened up since our company stock went through the roof two weeks ago. I was driving along, then a semi truck--then…I don’t remember much after that. What’s going on? Where am I?”
Conductor: “Do you remember seeing anything after your memory faded?”
Passenger: “Yes, I think I do. I was standing next to my (passenger hesitates, then gulps), crumpled up car, looking at what appeared be a crumpled up body. I had my suitcases and box, then ended up here.
Conductor: (serious tone) Did you recognize the crumpled up body?
Passenger: (flush and nervous) “Wh where am I now? What is this place?
Conductor: “This is the station where you board the train to judgment.”
Passenger: “Is this some kind of Joke? Did Ray and the guys put you up to this? This is some elaborate gag, right?”
Conductor: “This is no joke. You must go before the judge and give an account for your life.”
Passenger: “Account for my life? I was a good person. I never hurt anyone. Ask any of my friends. I was faithful to my wife, and even took the kids to church on Christmas an Easter.
Conductor: “Though all of these things are good, your destiny is not determined by how good or bad you were, or wasn’t. It’s determined by your acceptance of the Holy One into your life.”
Passenger: “You mean Jesus? He was a statue at the church I went to on Christmas and Easter. They spoke of a babe born in a manger, but it never went beyond that. I heard that Jesus was a good person, or a prophet, but the Son of God? Give me a break!”
Conductor: “It’s true! He was the Son of God, and He died for the sins of the whole world. But you rejected Him. Many times He spoke to your heart, or through other people, but all you did was brush the feeling off, or criticized any one who tried to share His love with you. You called them “radical fundamentalists“, but all the time, they had the truth you needed. You trusted in your wealth and riches as the source of your existance. You had no time for the thing that really mattered, and could have given you true fulfillment - a relationship with your Lord.”
Passenger: “What happens from here?” Where will I go?”
Conductor: “That’s up to the Holy One. I’m not permitted to judge as far as your destination.”
Passenger: “What will happen to this luggage and box? In this box is all the dreams I’d ever believed for. The suitcases contain everything good I’d ever done.”
Just then the suitcases and box burst into flames and became nothing but a heap of ashes. The passenger quickly stepped back, horrified.
Conductor: “It’s time to depart. The Holy One awaits.”
Passenger: (in a terrified tone) “NO! NO! I’m not ready!”
Just then, John Simpson set straight up in his bed, sweating and breathing heavy. The room seemed like it was spinning, but slowly came into focus. John immediately looked at the alarm clock and it was 9:30 am. He looked at the calendar on the wall and it was Sunday. Just then he heard his wife Jane come down the hall.
Jane Simpson: “Honey, you up? Joe and Janet asked us to go to church with them this morning. I would like to go, and we really need to get the kids in church.”
John Simpson: (still kind of groggy) “Yeah that sounds great. I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.”
Jane: (Surprised) “Really? I’m pretty much ready. I’ll see you in a few.”
John: (Thinking to himself) I’ll give this a shot. Lord, if you’re real, on this day, show me what I must do.
Jane: (speaking from down the hall) “Honey, I packed your suitcases for your two week stint in New York with your job. You’re leaving Tuesday, right? The box is all your company reports they’d asked you to bring. They wouldn’t all fit in your briefcase.”
John looks in the corner of the room where he sees five suitcases and a box.
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