Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)
TITLE: Food for Thought
By Karen Treharne
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Every second Friday for over a year now, Casey’s family had fed the homeless, meeting at church and carpooling downtown to feed the “street people”. But this coming week was the long-awaited toga party at the fraternity. And this time, the party was being hosted by Troy’s house.
She hadn’t told her folks about him, yet, since they actually hadn’t been “a twosome” for very long, but Casey was determined to make the most of the party to bring their relationship to a higher level, no matter what her parents said. She, therefore, arrived at her parent’s home, single-minded in her resolve to break the news to them.
“Hi Mom. Hi Dad. What’s for dinner?” With the university only a couple of miles away, Casey often showed up unexpectedly to enjoy a home-cooked meal!
“Hi yourself, honey. You’re right on time. Dan and I were just sitting down to one of your favorite dishes. Macaroni and cheese.”
And what a treat it was, but Casey had other things on her mind. “I have something to tell you both.” she finally blurted out. “I’ve met someone at school.” She observed her parents exchanging “looks”. “His name is Troy.” She quickly explained that they had met at a football game last fall and that they had been double-dating ever since.
Then came the part she was dreading. “As a matter of fact, Troy’s fraternity is hosting a toga party next Friday night. But I’d have to skip the homeless trip. I hope that will be okay?”
“Well, Casey, let me say first of all that I’m happy you’ve met someone you like. I know your mother and I would love to meet him.” He hesitated a brief moment before proceeding,
“About next Friday, though. You should give it some more thought. You see, the thing is this. You made a commitment to serve in this mission and to do it with your family.” He spoke slowly and softly, but with authority. “It’s your choice, of course. But, I just want to remind you that when we choose to obey God, He blesses us immeasurably.”
That hadn’t gone very well at all. Casey lamented the outcome as she drove back to her apartment. Leslie was waiting to hear the results of her confrontation.
“Well, what happened? What did they say?”
“They tried to shame me into going with them, but they left it up to me to decide.”
Over the next few days, Casey and Leslie worked on their dress project for the party, laughing and talking about who would be there and what an impression they were going to make.
Thursday night, she reluctantly called her folks announcing her decision to go to the party, but that she would join them next month. Her mom simply told her to have a good time and that they would miss her. When she hung up, she was smiling at how easy that had been.
The next day, however, Casey began to have second thoughts. She had spent a restless night, tossing and turning as she dreamed about starving people scrounging food from dumpsters. She wanted to wake from the nightmare, but it lingered until morning. Now, she was experiencing nausea and a nagging feeling of doom that wouldn’t go away.
So it was that, later that afternoon, Casey confessed to Leslie that she just didn’t feel right about going to the toga event. Leslie tried to talk her into it again, but Casey was unwavering.
When her family arrived that night at the designated spot, there was some confusion. Another church group was there to distribute blankets. While they discussed how best to handle the situation, Casey waited.
“Casey? Is that you?”
She turned toward the familiar voice, and there was Troy. She couldn’t believe her eyes. “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at the party?”
“Well, my youth group at church started this “Blankets for the Homeless” mission, and I wanted to be a part of it. I knew there would be other parties that wouldn’t conflict. Now, though, since we’re going to be here together, this will become a major priority for sure.”
Casey smiled broadly. She grabbed Troy’s hand and led him to meet her parents while her heart sang for joy as she recalled her father’s wise counsel. God’s blessings were indeed bountiful when we chose to be obedient.
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