Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: Don't want to
By Ed VanDeMark
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Funny things go on in people’s heads.
Eddie grew up in the church. He was active in the Boy Scouts and Sunday school. He was an all around nice guy but no matter how hard Beth tried to get him to accept Jesus as his savior he flatly refused. It didn’t make any sense. He was the treasurer of his youth group and he’d read the bible from cover to cover; not once but three times. He seemed to enjoy worship services, and he was continually doing good things for other people.
“Why won’t you accept Jesus as your savior?”
“I don’t want to.”
“That’s not an answer…cause why?”
“Just because, that’s why.”
No matter how hard Beth tried to convince him, Eddie steadfastly refused, and she never got a satisfactory answer.
“Just because I don’t want to. Why can’t you accept that as my final answer?”
“Because your eternal hope depends on it and I care to much for you to let anything bad happen to you.”
Twenty five years passed. Both Beth and Eddie went off to college. He came home following college and a four year tour of duty with the Navy. Beth’s family moved while she was in college and they lost track of each other.
Their twenty fifth class reunion brought Beth back to town. They met at the picnic the day before the formal reunion. Eddie was late getting there. When he finally arrived he dashed off for the rest room with an arm load of casual clothes. Beth saw him go and was waiting for him when he returned to his car.
“You’re looking good Beth. What’re you eating, you haven’t aged a bit?”
“I’ll answer that question if you’ll show me what you have in your arms.”
He unfolded the dress clothes he’s carrying.
“It is what I thought it was…that’s a clerical collar.”
“I had to do my hospital calls before I could get here.”
“When did that happen?”
“When did what happen?”
“Don’t be coy with me. When did you accept Jesus as your savior?”
“Thirteen years ago.”
“And now you’re a pastor.”
“So it would seem.”
They conversed casually for a while before Beth asked the question that was burning in her mind.
“Why did you refuse to accept Jesus all those years I tried to get you to see the light?”
Eddie smiled but didn’t answer right away.
“Out with it young man, I’ve got to know the answer.”
“It was really stupid. I always believed in Jesus.”
She rocked impatiently from one foot to the other.
“I’m afraid of snakes.”
“I was afraid if I accepted Jesus as my savior I’d have to go to Africa.”
“What’s that have to do with it?”
“Snakes drip off trees like moss in Africa.”
Beth laughed out loud.
“Have you been to Africa?”
“I suppose you’re still afraid of snakes.”
He grinned sheepishly.
“Have you been to Africa?”
“Seven times and snakes don’t drip of trees like moss.”
He smiled broadly.
“Now I suppose God told you He wants me to become a missionary to Africa.”
“And He’ll tell you too; in about twelve years.”
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