A young man named Gordon invited his college roommates to a weekly Bible Study. Jason promised to come when his work and school schedule allowed but Derek could not be bothered to give an answer. He was into video games.
When Gordon married Stacy, he wanted to share his joy with his friends. He introduced Jason to his new wife’s cousin Deidre. A year later, Jason and Deidre were married and the two young couples moved into the same neighborhood. They shared their struggles starting careers and raising children. They served in their church and volunteered in their community.
But Derek foreswore matrimony. Who could promise to stay with one person for a lifetime? Wasn’t it irresponsible to bring children into a polluted world? He had no time for distractions. He was into internet gambling.
Over the years Gordon continued to invite Derek to join the two young families for holiday celebrations, church functions and summer vacations. A few times Derek thought he might make the effort but he never did.
Sometimes Gordon and Jason were overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Often they were tired. Still, they kept in touch with their old friend. One day Gordon ran into Derek in the hardware store. Derek looked healthier than he had in years. He was into Geocaching.
“It gets me outdoors,” Derek told Gordon. “The nice thing about treasure hunting is that I can do it by myself anytime I want. You should try it. You look like you could use some time for yourself.” Gordon wished Derek success and hurried up the paint aisle to retrieve his toddler who was playing with paint samples.
When Derek got fired from his job for misreporting his hours on his timecard he had to move to a smaller apartment. He was bored with video games, tired of treasure hunting for disappointing trinkets and in debt to some scary people.
Hearing of his friend’s plight, Gordon cut short his favorite part of the day—story time on the couch with his wife and children after dinner. He kissed Stacy and went to spend time with his friend thinking that Derek might finally be ready to hear about Jesus. But when Gordon laid his Bible on the table Derek moved it aside. Then he laid a petition stained with hot dog relish in front of Gordon.
”I finally got religion,” he said, jabbing a torn fingernail at the thick manifesto. Derek was into political activism.
Gordon declined to sign a petition in support of fair wages for a tribe of Inuits in a province of Canada he had never heard of. Derek shook his head and shouted, “Where is your compassion, man? Where is your sense of commitment?”
Gordon set his Bible back in front of his friend and told him.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalm 85:10 (ESV) Psalm 85:10 (ESV)
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