Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: Streams of Sweat
By LauraLee Shaw
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âThat was some amazing musicianship,â a groomed thirty-something guy announced as he approached Richard and me.
âThank you,â Richard answered, âAnd whatâs your name?â
âLuke Jones.â He reached out to shake Richardâs hand, and then turned to shake mine. âInsightful message, Pastor.â
âI appreciate that, Luke. Wait, youâre the new executive pastor over at Grace Covenant.â
Richard interrupted anxiously, âOh, wow, I just purchased your churchâs choir CD. That was phenomenal.â
He beamed. âThanks, that project has been quite successful, which has been both good and bad.â
âOh, howâs that?â I asked.
âGood--because itâs brought in over $5,000 for missions. And bad-- because our worship pastor decided that it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a recording artist after an agent heard the CD and offered him the moon.â
Richard remarked, âWell, I guess you canât blame him for that. There arenât too many of us that would turn down that kind of opportunity. I wouldnât.â
Now I was the one sweating.
Pastor Luke went on to tell of the great achievements the new artist had accomplished so far. Richard was completely enthralled. The hair on the back of my neck was screaming, so I walked away before my lips had the chance to follow.
Maybe I shouldnât have. Richard came into my office the following week with wet beads of nervousness on his brow. I guess I was expecting him.
âIâm not sure how this happened,â Richard began to spill out. âOne moment Iâm talkinâ to Pastor Luke about their sound system, the next weâre discussing a job opening.â He wiped his face with his handkerchief. âI would be directing a choir with four hundred people in it, Jim. They televise in ten states. Itâs like my life-long dream has just fallen into my lap. I never meant for this to happen, but now itâs right in front of me. Iâm so sorry.â
My heart was torn in two. âRichard,â I uttered, âI would never try to keep you from something that you feel like the Lord is leading you to do. Just know that you will be missed terribly. Thereâll be an awfully big hole.â
I did not hear from Richard for over seven months but was thrilled to receive an email from him one day. The chatter in ministry circles was that he was thriving over at Grace, so I couldnât wait to hear the personal side of things. As I read his message, I pictured him sitting at the keyboard with perspiration gleaming from his hairless head as he typed.
Jim, Iâm sorry Iâve havenât been in touch, but itâs been a whirlwind. I canât remember the last time I had some down time. I am meetingâd out, and sometimes I feel like weâre more of a business than a ministry. Donât get me wrong, these people love the Lord, but itâs just different. Like, they choose my wardrobe for church services. I canât even dress myself now? And the kids hate their youth groups. We canât get Jason to go anymore. Susanâs not happy either. I feel like a failure. Please pray for us.
I hope your new worship guy is doing well and that he realizes how good he has it. How is everyone? Is the staff playing the fantasy basketball tournament this year? Love, Richard
My eyes began to sting, and my stomach hurt for him. A few moments later, Jeremy, our new worship pastor popped his head in my office. âEverything ok?â
âYes, itâll be fine, Iâm sure,â I tried to convince myself. âJust concerned about an old friend. You ok?â
Jeremy was chompinâ at the bit to share some interesting news with me. âYouâll never guess who just called me.â
âIt was Steven Miller, you remember the guy that left Grace Covenant to go start the big music career?â
I squirmed. âYeeeeeah?â
âWell, apparently, heâs looking for a job, and he didnât know that you had filled Richardâs spot since he left. Heâs desperate for some, quote âactual income,â end of quote. He said that the solo career thing had led to a bunch of dead ends. Sad, huh?â
The hot water began to pour from my pores. âYou donât know the half of it.â
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