Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
TITLE: A Reason To Go On
By Ken Grant
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"Glenn, I like you, but the church just doesn't have the resources our family needs. I need to put my family first."
Glenn almost missed the fact that Eugene had stopped talking. He rallied and replied, "I understand, Eugene. Your family will be missed, but I wish you all the best."
"That sounded kind of canned, Glenn."
Glenn took a deep breath and replied, "I suppose it sort of was. I've done a lot of these."
"But I'm your friend."
Eugene stared for a moment before saying, "Well, I guess I'll see you later."
"I'll call you next week."
"I appreciate that."
Eugene stood up as did Glenn. He shook Glenn's hand before leaving his office. Glenn plopped himself back down on his chair and exhaled long and slow.
"I need to get out of here," Glenn said to the ceiling.
He stood up and walked out of his office and began to walk around the church property. The sun was just beginning to set and its golden rays produced an otherworldly view. Glenn stopped to just take in the beauty. He needed the reminder that there was more to life than the day to day. Life could be pure beauty at times.
"Thank you, Lord."
Glenn spoke with true thankfulness. In the midst of deep disappointment, he remembered that there were always truths about life that were capable of producing joy.
Glenn felt his wife's touch on his shoulder and reveled in the joy of hearing her voice.
"Are Eugene and Cheryl leaving?"
"You know they are."
Glenn turned to look his wife in the eyes. He struggled to appear upbeat, but he knew he was failing.
Rebecca smiled weakly as she asked, "You ever wonder when it is enough?"
"Time to fold your hand."
"Not my style."
"But isn't that a valid strategy at the right time?"
"It is. I'll have something to say about that on Sunday.
Pastor Glenn McCauley looked out over his congregation. He truly loved the faces as they each came into view.
"I have something unique to talk to you about today."
Glenn paused. The emotions were so intense he wondered if he could keep speaking. He drew deep on reserves and continued.
"You all know that our congregation has suffered losses recently. Eugene and Cheryl have recently decided to attend another faith gathering. The question was posed to me as to whether or not I was ready to fold my hand. This phrase is used in the game of poker and it means that you stop attempting to win the chips in the middle of the table. It means that you no longer have the resources to accomplish what you set out to do."
Glenn paused once more. This time he had to dig deeper than he had intended. He found strength that he forgot he had.
"I will not fold."
Glenn walked down before the people that the Lord had placed in his hands and knelt before them. He raised his hands in prayer as tears streamed down his face. He heard prayer and praise spontaneously begin around him. He let himself go. He lay prostrate on the carpet and whispered softly to the Lord, "I will not fold. I'm in this till the end."
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