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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Burdened Begger
By L.M. Lee


“Saving this seat for anyone?” Darcy asked interrupting Samuel’s ambivalence.

Samuel’s lanky frame was sprawled across a church bus seat. Haloed by headphones, his brown eyes darted from left to right underneath a fringe of sandy blonde hair, at a small paperback

“I guess,” he answered. His body language screamed annoyance until he glanced up into the face of an angel. He blushed as he quickly gathered his backpack to make room for this beautiful intrusion.

“Oh, yeah, sure,” he fumbled, “I’m Sam Williams.”

“Hi Sam, I’m Darcy Cummings, whatcha reading?”

Sam was captivated by the radiant smile shining down on him. She slipped in next to him and glanced up attentively awaiting the answer to her question.

More of a nerdy bookworm than dashing Casanova, he surprised himself at how easily the conversation flowed. He had never felt so comfortable with anyone, as he shared the book’s context.

Darcy was hypnotized by the lips forming the words of a story she had never heard. No one had ever talked so passionately about Jesus.

By the end of the church camp, Sam had fallen eternally in love with Darcy and Darcy had fallen completely in love with Jesus. It took Sam another six months of intense courting to convince Darcy she also loved him, but he succeeded. During semester break, Darcy got a new last name.

Darcy had not been raised in a Christian home. Sam had been listed on the church cradle roll the day his mom learned she was pregnant. Eager to please her husband, Darcy plunged into church life.

She volunteered for everything. He was thrilled with his bride’s desire to follow Christ and create the perfect Christian home, but between her activities, their jobs and college courses, there was little time left for simply being newlyweds. Sam didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to squelch her enthusiasm, but he felt horribly wicked being jealous of Jesus.

The next Sunday’s bulletin voiced an impassioned plea for Sunday school teachers. Reading this announcement grieved Darcy. She leaned over and whispered into Sam’s ear, “Why would they have to beg people to teach others about Jesus?”

Sam shrugged an “I dunno,” and began to ponder her question. Why would they have to beg he wondered?

That afternoon Sam and Darcy enjoyed lunch with another couple from church. Walter and Annie, empty-nesters, lonely for their grown children, had adopted the young couple. They hoped to mentor the newlyweds, insuring their road would be less bumpy.

“Annie,” began Darcy, “Why do they have such a hard time getting people to teach Sunday school?”

“Lots of reasons,” Annie offered, “but I think most people hesitate because of the weight of responsibility. Teachings others about their most important relationship is a little intimidating. Why do you ask?”

“I read the announcement in the bulletin and thought I’d volunteer,” Darcy replied.

Sam rolled his eyes, slumped in his chair and let out a long sigh. The older couple noticed his frustration. Aware of the situation, they knew they couldn’t offer advice where they weren’t invited.

“Aren’t you serving in other areas?” asked Annie.

“Yeah, but I don’t know,” pondered Darcy, “I just feel like I should. I mean the only reason I’m here is because Sam told me about Jesus.”

She reached across the table covering Sam’s hand with hers and blew a flirtatious kiss.
Walter and Annie smiled. Annie nodded, “Why not pray about it, wait a week and see how you feel then.”

The conversation drifted to other topics as the couples finished lunch. Two weeks later the wives met.

“So, how ya feel about teaching, now?” asked Annie.

“The more I pray, the stronger the desire,” Darcy said. “What do I do?”

“First, you need to let go of some of your other activities, teaching will require study time,” Annie counseled.

“Which activities,” asked Darcy?

Darcy read through Annie’s playful scolding look. She knew what Annie’s answer was: pray and trust God to lead you.

“And why not take the preschool class,” Annie continued. “As you teach them, Jesus will teach you.”

© 1/18/08

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Member Comments
Member Date
Johnna Stein01/24/08
This is so true to life. New believers often serve before they grow deeply in their relationship with Jesus. I started first teaching the two year olds!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/26/08
You wove many good elements into this story. I especially liked the insertion of the mentor couple. The stress of ministry responsibilities on newlyweds (and even not-so-newlyweds) can be overwhelming.
LauraLee Shaw01/30/08
Ok, there is SO much IN this piece. As a kids' ministry worker forEVER, I have never understood why we have to beg for volunteers either. That's one true-to-life element in this piece. Then there's the idea of people actually taking the commitment seriously enough to work at it. LOVE that. Finally, you have the personal application kicked in of not overloading oneself with church commitments. Choose, and do what you do well.

If you could find a buddy who's good with punctuation to edit your piece that would make it even better.

I love your message here. Thank you for sharing it.