Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Extra (08/29/13)
TITLE: More From Less
By Noel Mitaxa
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“Steve, are you free for lunch at twelve?” His tone was burning desperation into Steve’s ear.
Pleading the fifth was an option, but Cal would have missed the subtlety anyway. “Well, not free Cal, but I’m reasonable cheap,” replied Steve.
“That’s great Steve—<i>Papa Luigi’s</i> at twelve then? Thanks.”
Steve’s phone went dead. Just like his options for lunch; and his ability to concentrate on his schedule; as Cal’s earnestness played on his mind. What could be eating at him?
Pizza at <i>Papa Luigi’s</i> would not have been Steve’s first choice, but Cal was waiting—and waving—from a table just inside the door.
Steve sat down, with plans for the most innocuous dish, to counter the impending intensity.
“Steve, yesterday at church a guy shared an amazing testimony of how God had sent an angel to save his life. That’s right—the angel crashed into his car and kept him from hitting a pile of steel after his brakes had failed!
“This angel checked that he was okay, and told him that his uncle and the police were on their way; and this was ten years before anybody had even heard of cell phones!
“And what’s more, the police contacted this guy three months later—saying they had no record of the driver or the car that hit him. He’d have to be an angel!”
Steve saw the excitement fading from Cal’s eyes.
A frown took over. Cal’s tone and his enthusiasm began heading south. “I wish God would do something like that for me—then I’d have a testimony that everyone would want to hear,” he sighed.
A cheap shot was out of the question for Steve. Warming to Cal’s commitment; he was silently praying about how to lift his friend’s sights beyond his own little world.
“Cal, would you ever like to be placed in a potentially-fatal position like the guy at church was—unless God intervened?”
<i>Double-take</i> would be a fair summary of Cal’s response. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“We both know of many people—godly people—who have died violently," Steve continued, "or who have been sidelined for years after being active and influential. They would all qualify for the kind of miracle that this guy talked about; but the miracles haven’t come. Would you ever want to wait in line with them?
“Jesus faced the same kind of temptation, Cal. To throw himself off the top of the temple so everyone could see angels rescuing him. It would have been great PR, but it would have actually put him beyond the reach of ordinary people and how they could open their hearts to him.”
Cal’s eyes widened. His expression relaxed. “I’ve often complained that non-believers talk about wanting God to do something, but not too much because they want to stay in control. Do you think I’ve been just like that; trying to make God do only what I’d like him to?”
“Maybe you have Cal,” Steve said with a smile, “but I reckon too many of us Christians are blind to how much more God wants to do <i>with</i> us—if we concentrate less on wanting him to just do things </i>for us. As a result, we miss out on bringing extra blessing from him for others.
“How would you like to join me in looking for ways to add God’s extra blessing to our interaction with others wherever we are? If you like, we could meet every Thursday for lunch to share what we discover. It could be a lot of fun.”
Cal grinned for the first time. “It could be, especially if we don’t have to risk their lives or ours in the process…”
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