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CONTENT  5'2m0f Paul teaches Timothy contentment

PAUL -- (enters casually) Now, timothy, calm down.

TIM --- (follows, stumbling backward, as if thrown onto stage, 
shouts back to exit) Watch it, buddy! You don't know who you're 
dealing with here!

PAUL -- Timothy...

TIM --- (points to Paul, shouts out exit) This is Paul the 
Apostle. He could call down fire and brimstone on you guys. 
(turns to Paul) Imagine those guys throwing US in jail. (looks 
around) Look at this dump. I've seen pig sties that were nicer 
than this. (turns back to exit, shouts) Alright, you guys asked 
for it. You put Paul and Timothy in jail and you are dead meat. 
(turns back to Paul) Okay, Paul, let them have it. (turns back 
to exit)

PAUL -- No.

TIM --- Duck and cover, guys, here comes death and destruction.

PAUL -- No.

TIM --- (turns) Excuse me?

PAUL -- No. We're not going to kill the guards.

TIM --- Well, if you're too tired to do it, I'll take care of it 
myself. (turns to exit, raises arms over head, points fingers at 
exit) Okay, on the count of three, you guys are crispy critters. 
One, two....

PAUL -- Timothy.

TIM --- Not now, Paul, I'm in the middle of something here. How 
many pounds of burning sulfur do you think we need cook six 
guards medium well?

PAUL -- Timothy.

TIM --- I know. You're tired. I'll figure it out myself. Let's 
see. Three pounds of sulfur per guard times six guards....

PAUL -- Timothy.

TIM --- (hands down, turns impatiently) Listen, Paul, I know 
you're the big kahoona around here, but I'm right in the middle 
of trying to get us out of jail here.

PAUL -- I've been trying to tell you that the Lord may not want 
us out of jail.

TIM --- Yeah, right. The Lord wants the apostle to the gentiles 
locked up and out of circulation.

PAUL -- (nods silently)

TIM --- Listen, Paul, we've got to start serving grape juice at 
communion services instead of wine. You're not making sense.

PAUL -- Timothy, is there any doubt in your mind that the Lord 
is on his throne in heaven?

TIM --- Well, no. Of course not.

PAUL -- But, you think we're in jail because of some divine 
mistake? 

TIM --- Well, when you put it like that.... Why would the Lord 
want us in jail?

PAUL -- I don't know. The Lord doesn't tell me everything. But 
what I do know is that nothing happens to us without the Lord's 
permission. 

TIM --- So, you think it's okay with the Lord that we're in this 
stinking hole?

PAUL -- (nods silently)

TIM --- Why? We can't preach or teach anyone in here. What is 
there for us to do in here?

PAUL -- I don't know. But let me give you some possibilities. 

TIM --- Alright, I'm listening.

PAUL -- For the last two weeks we have been surrounded by 
crowds. Every waking moment, people were demanding our 
attention.

TIM --- Too much of a good thing.

PAUL -- Remember what you said to some of them last night?

TIM --- Say, listen, I'm sorry about that. I....

PAUL -- What did you say?

TIM --- (wiping shoulders) I said, "Leave me alone, already!"

PAUL -- (nods silently) 

TIM --- Oh, you're not trying to tell me that THIS is an answer 
to prayer?!

PAUL -- Yesterday, you were complaining that we didn't even have 
enough time alone for our personal quiet time with the Lord. 
Today the Lord gave you some time and now you're complaining 
about it.

TIM --- Yeah, but look at this place! Yuk!

PAUL -- I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

TIM --- I wish I could share your enthusiasm for this place, 
but.... (fans nose) You can't really be enjoying this.

PAUL -- I didn't say I enjoyed all circumstances, only that I 
was content in all circumstances. Here we are alone with plenty 
of time to pray to the Lord. But instead of being content to 
pray, you complain.

TIM --- I was kind of hoping for a mountain top overlooking a 
serene lake, flowers swaying in the breeze, wind whistling 
through the trees....

PAUL -- Timothy, the Lord has given you a choice. You can choose 
to be content with the prayer time you have with him or you can 
be angry about it, in either case, the circumstances are exactly 
as they are. Being angry won't change a thing except that it 
will rob you of the opportunity to use this solitude to commune 
with the Lord.

TIM --- Alright, you shamed me into it. Let's pray.

(both clasp hands, bow heads) 

TIM --- (pause) How can you do this?! All I can think about is 
being in jail!

PAUL -- Timothy, remember I said "I have LEARNED to be content 
whatever the circumstances."

TIM --- Yeah, so?

PAUL -- So, during the brief time you were praying just now, did 
you commune with the Lord at all?

TIM --- Well, sure, for a little while, until I got angry again 
about being in jail.

PAUL -- LEARNING to be content is just a matter of enjoying 
those moments with the Lord, however brief they may be, and then 
teaching yourself to set aside the anger for just one more 
brief moment, and then another and then another.

TIM --- (deep breath) Alright, I'll try to train myself to set 
aside my anger moment by moment. What should I pray for besides 
"Fry them, Lord, fry them!"?

PAUL -- Ask the Lord to help you extend those moments when your 
thoughts are just with him. Ask him to help you with your anger. 
And, finally, ask him to help you discover what good can come 
from these circumstances.

TIM --- Okay, let's try it again.

(both bow heads, long pause)

TIM --- (turns, raises arms overhead, points fingers at exit, 
ready to call down fire and brimstone)

PAUL -- Timothy.

TIM --- (arms down) Sorry, I'm just trying to discover what good 
can come from these circumstances.

PAUL -- Let the Lord help you.

TIM --- Okay, let's try it again.

(both bow heads, long pause)

TIM --- (sighs, laughs)

PAUL -- Come up with anything?

TIM --- Yeah. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

PAUL -- It's worth a try.

(both exiting)

TIM -- Hey, guards, did anybody ever tell you guys about Jesus? 
My friend here knows Jesus personally.


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