Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
TITLE: The Power of One (Extra)
By Noel Mitaxa
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James’ rudimentary carpentry skills had attained new levels as the deck and pergola took shape. But pragmatism prompted him to crown it with an overhead vine—ostensibly to provide summer shade and to allow winter light into the house—but equally to conceal any inevitable mistakes...
This dappled outdoor room had allowed him many opportunities to relax with a healthy mix of accomplishment and anticipation, for here he had often visualized and prayed over fresh possibilities for his church to reach out more effectively.
It was an ideal scenario for his elders to enjoy a relaxed barbecue meal together, for he wanted to introduce them to his latest vision; for he had heard that the property beside the church was coming on to the market. If the church purchased this property, it could be easily be remodeled as a base for serving the community in practical ways. Ways that would demonstrate the gospel Monday to Saturday among those whose first approach to the church may never be to venture into the sanctuary to hear his messages Sunday by Sunday.
His planning had traveled his usual PEPSI route:
Pray – to affirm God’s ownership and resources;
Establish the goal – of the people who would be blessed by this venture;
Program – of how to unfold the steps towards the goal;
Schedule – to timetable the launching and assessing the progress;
Inventory - how much money and how many people the vision would need in order to achieve its purpose.
He was feeling confident as he handed around information sheets which cataloged the community needs that this vision would address; along with appropriate biblical references; and room for them to note their questions or comments.
After almost two hours of questions and comments, council chairman Brother Marshall held up his hand for silence.
“Thank you Pastor James. This has been a very enlightening time for us all, so I propose we vote on it.”
The vote went six against to one—Pastor James—affirmative.
“It looks like you have a little more work to do, Pastor James," declared Brother Marshall. "Would you please close in prayer?”
“Oh God,” begged Pastor James, “please help these men to see that this is not my vision—but your vision, Amen.”
A deep, distant rumbling caused some faces to look skywards for an approaching storm, before they all stepped out onto the lawn to peer into a clear blue sky—in puzzlement about how thunder could announce itself from there.
But the rumbling grew more boisterous—from beneath their feet—to climax with an ear-shattering crack as the lawn split wide open. On the other side of the crack it tilted away, tossing the elders into a spreadeagled tangle of cowering humanity.
Only Pastor James remained standing.
The ensuing, eerie silence was broken by Brother Marshall’s husky voice.
“Pastor James, I do believe that this has changed the count dramatically. In fact I’d say that it’s now six votes to two!”
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