Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Seriously in need of a whale
By Helen Paynter
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Oh Lord, how I hate fishing.
Sitting for endless hours under a dull, gunmetal sky, beside a dull, gunmetal river, in the increasingly vain hope that we might catch a dull, gunmetal fish.
Couldnít you have stopped me somehow? When I was running off at the mouth to Tom about coming to church with me? I mean, you do know the future, donít you? You knew the one time he agreed to come thereíd be a visiting speaker who looked like heíd been evicted from the mental asylum for being excessively psychopathic. And that heíd insist we hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah. Well? Donít you have any pride?
Oh look, Tomís caught a boot. Thatíll be the pair to the one we caught two hours ago. Now I get to watch him impaling another maggot that never did anybody any harm. Iím thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Or at least a fishitarian. No more. Never again will I pop out for fish and chips. Pan-fried sea bass? No sir. Grilled swordfish? Off the menu.
So, not only did you stand silently by while I brought Tom along to the church service from Hell Ė and no, thatís not rhetoric; you also allowed me to make a pact with him that Iíd come fishing with him the next Sunday. Did you look at the worship rota? Didnít you know Stuart Townend was visiting today? I could have got him to autograph my albums.
And now itís raining. Donít you control the weather? Donít I get one favour? Just one? I mean, ĎGo into all the world, making disciples of all nationsí. So Iím trying. Tom was to be my first stop on a mission of world evangelisation. Well, think again, Lord. No-one makes a fool out of me like this.
Oh-oh, now what? Tomís shoulders are shaking. I expect heís laughing at the way heís paying me back for last week. If I wasnít a Christian Iíd sort him out.
Oh, no Ė heís not laughing, heís crying. Great, first fishing, then rain, now I get an earful of someone elseís problems. Yeah, tell me whatís wrong. Let it all out.
And Lord Ė couldnít you have reminded me to pack a clean handkerchief?
Heís telling me all about his miserable life. Like I want to hear. Yeah yeahÖ jobÖ girlfriendÖ motherÖ she does what? Pat arm, look concerned, sneak a look at watch.
Oh and now he asks me to explain why Iím so joyful all the time. When Iím sitting on this soggy bank, about to slide into the water. Fantastic. Some Christians get to preach in football stadiums to adoring crowds. Some Christians get to be missionaries to the surfers in California. Not me. No, I get to share the gospel with a snivelling friend on a 45 degree gradient above a piranha-infested river. Well, thereís probably something that bites down there.
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. I am not going into that miserable water and baptising him. Think again Lord. Not Jonah Weinhard. Youíve got the wrong man.
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