Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BROKEN (12/06/18)
- TITLE: First Place
By Marlene Custer
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Jason heard Sarah sniffle as Pastor Phillips commented, “I am sorry to hear that. Can you give me some background?
“Well, we both work overtime to pay our bills.” Jason shifted nervously in his chair. “We just bought a new car and we were looking at a bigger house, but our credit card is getting maxed out, so we set that idea aside for now. Sometimes we go days without talking,” he tossed his hands up in front of him, then finished. “Neither of us is very happy.”
Jason turned to Sarah as she spoke up, “I always dreamed of having children. I never thought about how draining they can be. I’m already tired when I get home from my job, then the kids have to be fed, taken to ball practice or music lessons, then helped with homework. I don’t have the energy to be civil by the time Jason gets home.”
Both Jason and Sarah looked expectantly at their Pastor. “How is your relationship with God?” he asked. “Are you involved in one of the church’s small groups?”
The couple looked down, then Jason answered sheepishly, “Well, Sunday is our only day to sleep in. Often there is a soccer or lacrosse game. We just haven’t had time to get involved in a church group.”
Jason shrugged his shoulders and sat up straighter in his chair. He looked intently as Pastor Philips thought a moment, then suggested “I think you may be building broken cisterns.”
“Broken cisterns? What are you talking about,” Jason asked, leaning forward, a little annoyed.
He leaned back and focused as Pastor Philips explained, “Jeremiah 2:13 tells us, ‘My people...have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’” You see, Israel had the living God who was like a fountain of living water, yet they forsook him and went after other gods that could do nothing for them. It was like trying to get water from wells that held no water.
Jason’s full attention was on his pastor. Sarah was nodding her head beside him as Pastor Philips continued, “Christians are often like Israel. In Christ we have everything we need. But then we set him aside and pursue our jobs, sports, entertainment, and possessions in our search for happiness and fulfillment. I think God wants us to understand that complete happiness and fulfillment is in putting him first.”
Pastor Philips continued as Jason maintained eye contact. “Are you willing to make changes in your lifestyle so Christ can be first? You will need to cut some unnecessary work hours, and some of the children’s activities, and definitely curtail your spending habits.”
Jason turned to Sarah in time to see her brush a tear from her cheek. He looked questioningly at her, then said, “Yes, Pastor, we want to put God first again.”
Prayer: Father, God, the Giver of all good things, please help me put you first. I don’t want to replace you with anyone or anything that will keep you from being first in my life. Thank you. Amen
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