Jen: Whatís the matter, Chris?
Chris: Well, Iím working on the new Stew and Ward sketch for Stewardship Sunday and itís just...well..Jen, itís terrible.
Jen: Read me some.
Chris: Okay, I thought Iíd go with kind of a rhyming thing. Stew says ď I donít know why I have to spend my time and all my money. At a church where pancake breakfasts all have syrup thatís too runnyĒ...and then Ward says. "You better straighten up and pay the Lord what heís got coming. You owe him after all because without Him youíd be bumming. Itís only fair and thereís no telling what youíll then achieve. But disgrace Him and you'll fall from grace like Adam andÖĒ Ö after that I draw a blank.
Chris Eve! (snaps) Perfect! (scribbles it down, looks at it) This is still pretty terrible.
Jen: Well, I wonít argue with you.
Chris: I donít know, maybe itís these characters. Maybe they need to be spiced up. Maybe if they were thrown into a different setting - like a historical settingÖ
Jen: How about a Biblical setting? Yeah, they could be on the ark, talking to Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Chris: Who are they?
Jen: Noahís sons?
Chris: Oh! Yeah, I knew that!
Jen: Right. Or hey, you could put them right there on the road to Damascus.
Chris: What happened there?
Jen: umÖ thatís where Saul had his vision and became Paul the Apostle.
Chris: Well, sure, I was just testing you on that one.
Jen: Uh-huh. Ooh! How about putting them in with Daniel in the lionís den! That would be a great story. Why donít you look that one up?
Chris: Good idea. Which, um (He gets a Bible) which book is it in?
Jen: (Shakes her head) Try Daniel.
Jen: Chris, you really need some brushing up. You know, the adult Bible studyÖ
Chris: Woah, slow down, stop right there. Iím a grown man. Iím not going back to Sunday school. I've done my time.
Jen: Iím in that class. I think itís great. Studying as an adult, it gives the bible a whole new perspective. Iím getting things out of it I never could when I was a kid in Sunday school.
Chris: Like what?
Jen: WellÖ the fact that God offered his only son to die for us. I always assumed that was a big deal, but I really never thought about it. Now that Iím a mother, I can only begin to imagine what a painful sacrifice that must have been.
Chris: Oh, I get it. Yeah, I bet the story of Jonah would take on a whole new meaning for me, because of all my fishing experience.
Jen: Something like that. Anyway, besides using your experience to see the bible in a new way, in other classes the bible helps you see your experiences in a new way. Getting a Christian perspective on marriage, employment, social problemsÖ
Chris: Baking techniquesÖ
Jen: WellÖ maybe. Anyway, Iím glad youíre getting the idea.
Chris: Maybe they should have a poetry class. That would really help my writing.
Jen: It couldnít hurt.
Jen: I thought you were supposed to be at the church rehearsing the Stew and Ward sketch.
Chris: I thought Iíd stay home and catch upon some TV. Theyíve got their scripts. They can work on it on their own. They don't need a director, theyíll do just fine. They certainly donít need me.
Jen: Whatís the matter?
Chris: Nothingís the matter, itís just obvious Iím not needed on this project, Iíve already done my little job. I wrote the scripts, I wouldnít presume to get in their way and direct them.
Jen: Chris, tell me whatís bothering you.
Chris: Why should anything be bothering me? Iím not even here. Iím invisible. Who are you talking to, Jen? Why are you talking to yourself. Youíre the only one here. Just look around you. You donít see any Chris Johnson, do you? And donít bother looking in the bulletin insert this morning, because there isnít any Chris Johnson in there either.
Jen: Oh, so thatís the problem.
Chris: ďThree Sundays from today, Stew and Ward, performed by Pat Anderson and Aaron Jacobs, presented byÖ the Stewardship committee.Ē Thereís only three people on the Stewardship committee. Pat Anderson, Aaron Jacobs and ME. Their names appear in big bold print. And where was my name? Aside from my driverís licenseÖ nowhere! Well, thatís just fine. They donít need me, they donít have to have me.
Jen: Chris, youíre being childish.
Chris: No Iím not.
Jen: Yes you are.
Chris: No Iím not.
Jen: Yes you are.
Chris: No Iím not.
Jen: Yes you are.
Chris: No Iím not, no Iím not, no Iím NOT! Only a fool breaks his back to do work that is appreciated by no one. Iíve got more important things to do with my time.
Jen: Like watching Little House on the prairie reruns?
Chris: Itís a marathon. Theyíre showing them all in sequence.
Jen: You know, if youíre not there to direct them, theyíll do Stew and Ward with those bad British accents.
Chris: Let 'em. Itís their problem, not mine.
Jen: Chris, if God actually came right up to you and asked you to do something, and he said, "Youíre not going to get any credit for this, but I will appreciate it," would you do it?
Chris: Of course I would.
Jen: Well, thatís what he was asking when he gave you the talent to direct, and the opportunity to direct and write for the church. Youíre good at it. Iím a good artist, so I help with decorating. Susanís good with people so she does hospitality; Chuck's good with numbers, so he always volunteers for counting the offering. Weíre all called to help each other. If we obsess about getting credit, if weíre just looking out for ourselves, then each of us only has one person looking out for himself. But if we work together and share our abilities, if we all look out for each other, then each of us has everybody looking out for us.
Chris: Iím being childish.
Jen: Well, you were just disappointedÖ
Chris: NO, Iím being childish.
Jen: I wonít argue with you.
Chris: If I get over there now, I can probably catch them and get some rehearsal in. Maybe Iíll let them try those British accents.
Jen: Youíre the director.
Chris: How come you always get the fun mail? Ed MacMahon never sends me anything. (Opens a letter). Oh, cool! A promotional special for the new LazerQuest game. Only forty bucks!
Jen: Youíre going to spend forty dollars on another computer game? You donít even play the ones you have. Youíre always playing next door on Chuckís computer.
Chris: He has a better monitor. I donít know, itís really not in the budget, I guess (opens another letter) Hey, a letter from that mail order thing. I thought I paid that in full. Oh! ItĎs a check. I overpaid!
Jen: What mail order thing?
Chris The Backscratcher of the Month Club. Look! Itís forty dollars. Exactly what I need for the LazerQuest game in unexpected income. (Opens another letter). Is that fate or what? From church. Oh yeah. The annual drive for the meals program. Forty dollar donation to get the sweatshirt this year. Wow, thatís more than they were asking last year. I donít know if I can afford a big donation like that.
Jen: What do you mean? You just got that exact amount.
Chris Yeah, but that goes to the LazerQuest game. Fate, remember?
Jen: How come itís not fate for the meals drive?
Chris: Because I got the LazerQuest first.
Jen: You got them together. You just opened that one first because it was a more colorful envelope.
Chris: (Shrugs his shoulders) Fate.
Jen: (She hears a phone ring). Iíll answer the phone. When I come back, Iíll expect you to have turned back into an adult. (She leaves)
Chris: (Calling after her) I refuse to feel guilty! Donations are voluntary. I give regularly. I volunteer my time. I work hard during the week. I deserve state-of-the-art recreation. God understands. If I donated the money out of guilt, it wouldnít be a true donation. But by getting the computer game, Iíll improve the quality of my leisure time, so Iíll actually require less leisure time, and Iíll become a happier, healthier person, which will enable me to make better, more meaningful contributions to society and my fellowship community. Iíve made my decision.
Jen: (Entering again) Guess who just called.
Chris: (With great conviction) Before you say anything, Iím just letting you know, Iíve made my decision. Iím donating that money to the meals drive and Iíll tell you why. Itís not out of guilt, and I know thatís what youíre thinkingÖ
Jen: I wouldnít think a thing like that.
Chris Itís not out of guilt, and itís not out of duty, and itís not even out of a belief in some weird spiritual money equation where I think God is going to give me a twenty percent increase return on my investment, although itís been known to happen. Iím donating the money because I want to. I think itís an important program, and I want to do what I can to help make sure it keeps going.
Jen: So what about the computer game.
Chris: WellÖ youíre right. Iíve got enough computer games. Besides, theyíre a waste of time. I think Iím giving them up for a while. Theyíre a little childish.
Jen: Thatís too bad. Because Chuck just called from next door. He was inviting you over to play his new LazerQuest game.
Chris: Cool! (He runs away)
Jen: (Looks up) You sure work in mysterious ways. (Exit)
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