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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: The Old Ways - A Devotional
By Tim Pickl


“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3 (New King James Version)


We grabbed the kids, rented a recreational vehicle and roared away on a long summer vacation. The last minute vacation wasn’t necessarily planned down to the last detail; mostly we just wanted to get away from the normal stresses and routines of daily life.

We stopped for breakfast at a wonderful restaurant located in a small town in Minnesota. We almost didn’t get seated, because the place was humming, filled with servers and customers.

It was loud in there: a cacophony of conversation and food orders.

“Here we are everyone! We’re at the famous Paul Bunyan restaurant.”

“I know, Dad. I saw the big guy with the blue cow out front.”

“That was Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox.”

Just then, two waitresses walked by, carrying large wooden platters on their shoulders, filled with steaming plates of humongous pancakes, accompanied with generous heaps of eggs, bacon and sausage.

“Dad, I’m hungry.” My son always had a cute way of stating the obvious.

“Our food is coming, son.”

“She’s coming with it now.” My wife said matter-of-factly, smiling.


As the waitress set the plates down, I sensed something different about her, so I asked her to join us in prayer for our food. For the next 20 seconds or so, four Johnsons and one Paul Bunyan waitress thanked God for the food and asked Him to bless it.

It was a memorable moment.

Inspired by the prayer, the waitress asked, “Hey, would you be interested in going to a Christian concert? Two of the top bands are performing—here is a copy of the flyer.”

“Yeah, Dad, let’s go!”

“Sure, why not?”

“It’s at the biggest church in town; they’re selling tickets online. I have to go.”

“Son, can you run out to the camper and get the laptop?”

“I’m on it.”


“We are blessed to have such wonderful children.”

Our daughter blushed. “Aww, Mom.”

“Thanks for getting the laptop, son.”

I powered on the laptop, and while it was booting up, I asked everyone a question. “Why does it take so long for these things to start up?”

No one answered…probably because there is no answer.

“Computers have always started up slowly, and hopefully, some day someone will figure out how to make them more like televisions: Press the power button and bam! It’s on. What a concept.”

“Make sure you connect to the Paul Bunyan wireless, Dad.”

“Okay, thanks… finally… let me see, what is the website address?” My wife turned the Concert flyer so I could read it. I entered the address into the browser window, hit the Enter key.

I waited. We waited. It came up with with The page cannot be displayed.

“Does Google work?”

“Very wise question, young lady. Let’s see…yep, Google comes right up.”

“Try it again, Dad…and make sure you typed the address right.”

“Okay, let me double check….http…yep, that’s right.” I hit Enter again.

Same error: The page cannot be displayed.

“Son, go grab your mom’s iPad from the RV.”

“Yes, sir!”

He brought the iPad back. We got it connected to the Paul Bunyan wireless. Google worked just fine.

Same error: The page cannot be displayed.

“Okay, this is really strange. Why wouldn’t the website be working on the day of the concert?”

“Try using your Droid phone.” My wife suggested, smiling again.

“Ahhh… good idea. Different way to the worldwide web.”

I typed in the address. Same error: The page cannot be displayed.

“This is getting crazy!”

Our waitress saw we were getting frustrated and returned to our table, and handed me a cordless phone. “There’s a phone number you can call to order tickets, too.” She gently pointed at the number, listed at the bottom of the flyer.

“Thank you so much. You've been a great help today.”

“It’s no problem. Sometimes we have to go back to the old ways of doing things.”


“Father, help me to realize that all the church planning sessions for programs, concerts and special events, while important, should never replace the Christian basics of spending time with You in prayer and times of fasting. Please help me act on the apostolic faith that has been delivered to me. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 08/26/11
Simple truth, well illustrated.
Patricia Protzman08/31/11
Enjoyed your story. In some cases, the old ways are better.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/09/11
This is a well-written piece. I enjoyed your message. Now-a-days it is getting easier and easier to put God on the back burner. Nice job.