TRIALS2  4'?m2f Consider it pure joy when you face trials

AMY -- (enters carrying purse and notebook, crosses, exits,

LIZ -- (enters carrying purse and notebook, crosses hurriedly)
Sorry I'm late. Did I miss much?

AMY -- You didn't miss anything. The meeting hasn't started yet.
(points over shoulder) Noone else is here yet.

LIZ -- Apparently, EVERYBODY in the committee has kids in

AMY -- Now that I think about it, they all do. As a matter of
fact, Jeanette has to drop off her daughter on the other side of
town. We may be waiting for a while.

LIZ -- Oh, good. That'll give me a chance to ask you about my
Bible reading. You ARE a Christian, aren't you?

AMY -- Yes. What was your Bible reading?

LIZ -- I'm reading the Book of James. He says, "Consider it pure
joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds."

AMY -- Uh huh.

LIZ -- Well, that can't be right!

AMY -- Why not?

LIZ -- Well, it can't be God's will that everybody has evil in
their lives.

AMY -- Welcome to the twenty-first century.

LIZ -- What do you mean? What does the date have to do with

AMY -- We have had life so cushy in the last fifty years that we
see any discomfort as evil. Trials in themselves are neither
good nor evil. They're just events. The evil is pretty much in
the mind of the beholder. That's why James tells us to CONSIDER
it pure joy.

LIZ -- Well, I don't see it that way.

AMY -- That's because you don't see life through the eyes of

LIZ -- Well, there's no way I could do that.

AMY -- Sure there is.

LIZ -- There is?

AMY -- Sure. That's why God allowed you to become a parent.

LIZ -- A parent.

AMY -- Yes, a little league parent.

LIZ -- I don't get it.

AMY -- Why did you sign up your son for T-ball? Was it because
you thought he'd look cute in the uniform?

LIZ -- No. I signed him up because competitive sports are good
for his character.

AMY -- How do competitive sports develop his character?

LIZ -- Well, I hadn't thought about it that much. Let's see. I
guess being part of a team makes him part of something bigger
than himself.

AMY -- How much character do you think he would gain if he never
struck out, never bobbled the ball, and never lost a game?

LIZ -- Well, none, I suppose.

AMY -- Why not?

LIZ -- Because... let's see. I think that working through 
disappointments and defeats is what builds character.

AMY -- So, are you saying that you actually WANT your son to
strike out and bobble the ball?

LIZ -- Well, not all the time. I'd like to see him succeed too.
Succeeding builds character too.

AMY -- What if he plays really well and his team wins a couple
of games and he begins to tell everybody he's really hot stuff?

LIZ -- I see where you're going with this.

AMY -- Where am I going with this.

LIZ -- When my son gets too big for his britches, the best thing
that could happen to him is a big defeat.

AMY -- Mother! How can you say that about your own son!

LIZ -- I see what you mean. At the time of a huge defeat, it
seems to be evil, with no redeeming value. But from a higher
perspective, my son's character is far more important than
winning a game. As long as I'm there to dry my son's tears and
give him a big hug, even the biggest disappointments can be
really valuable for him.

AMY -- Do you think it's any different for adults?

LIZ -- (sigh) No. I suppose James is right. As long as my
Heavenly Father is there to dry my tears, I should look forward
to trials of many kinds.

AMY -- Speaking of trials, it looks like the rest of the
committee is here. Do you think James would include the boredom 
of a committee meeting in his list of trials of many kinds? 

LIZ -- (follows) Consider it pure joy as you yawn and fight to
stay awake.
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