"Attention, please...we will be closing in five minutes. Please make your way to the exit doors located at the west side of the building. Thank you for attending the first day of the Southern Home Show. We will be open tomorrow from 10 am to 6 pm. Thank you and good night!"
"Finally!" Lisa groaned under her breath. She gently elbowed Kelly in the arm. "Long day, huh?"
"Kind of," Kelly answered. It was her first trade show since she started working at Lexington Interiors three months ago.
"So what's on for tonight, girls?" Donna asked, checking her hair in a mirror.
"I really want to go to that new club downtown," Jessica piped up. "It's called Down Under."
"That sounds like you," Lisa laughed.
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, nothing...just thinking about the show in Vegas, that's all." Lisa looked over at Jessica with one raised eyebrow.
"Hey, that was just once... at least once that you know about!" She laughed loudly as the others joined in.
"So what about you, Kelly? What do you want to do?" Donna asked.
"Oh, uh, I don't know..." she hesitated.
This was the moment she was dreading. Although she had accepted Christ over a year ago, she was never very vocal about her faith. Thinking back, she hadn't even told the others she went to church. After all, she was new on the job and didn't want to be labeled a fanatic or anything. Let your lifestyle witness for you, isn't that what her pastor said? Something like that, anyway. She knew that going out drinking in a bar wasn't exactly Christian behavior, but she didn't want to look like a holier-than-thou snob either.
Jessica jumped up and grabbed her arm. "She wants to go to Down Under, right Kel?"
"Well, actually, I don't drink that much anymore..." Kelly faltered, trying to sound casual.
"It's not like we're gonna go get trashed and fall down the stairs!" Donna retorted.
Kelly laughed nervously. "I didn't mean that." She could hear the resentment in her voice and didn't want to offend them.
"Listen, you don't have to go if you don't want," Lisa offered. " We just wondered if you had anything in mind. But... how often to you get to enjoy the Miami nightlife?"
She had a point. Never having been to Miami, Kelly longed to get out and see the city. Not to mention the thought of sitting alone in a hotel room for three nights was less than appealing. Besides, they didn't really know she was a Christian yet...
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Count me in."
"Yeah!" Jessica gave her a high-five as they headed back to their rooms to get ready.
Staring at the mirror in her room, Kelly still debated. Annoyingly, her pastor's words from a couple weeks ago were crystal clear in her mind:
"Proverbs 8:34-35, NKJV, says that 'Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord...' Do you have the Lord's favor? Are you listening to Him? Waiting on Him? Or would you rather go along with the crowd and be a 'favorite' here on Earth? It's up to you: the favor of God or the favoritism of man. Which do you choose?"
It wasn't too late. She could call Lisa and say she was just too tired. There was still time to-
"Kelly, let's go! The taxi's waiting!" Jessica pounded on the door furiously. Kelly looked back to the mirror, paused, and with another swipe of lipstick, headed toward the door.
As the taxi sped toward the club, her pastor's words still echoed:
Favor or Favoritism. Which do you choose?
The club was loud and crowded, but there was an excitement in the air Kelly hadn't experienced in a long time.
Favor or Favoritism...
The girls got a table near the dance floor and immediately ordered drinks.
Which do you choose?
Kelly sipped her rum and coke and smiled at a guy at the next table. She refused to admit it, but the choice was already made.
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