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DENYSELF 9'?m2f Discipleship: obedience, deny self

AMY -- (enters, crosses slinging backpack over one shoulder)

TIF -- (follows, running, slinging backpack over one shoulder)
Amy, you got a minute?

AMY -- (turns) Sure, Tiffany, what's up?

TIF -- You've been on a short term mission trip like this
(points over shoulder) before, right?

AMY -- Yeah, it was great! You're going to love it.

TIF -- Are all these weekly meetings really necessary? I mean,
we're only going to be gone for one week and it's not like we're
going half way around the world.

AMY -- Oh, yeah, there's lots of preparation to do for a mission
trip.

TIF -- What do you tell him (points over shoulder) when he asks
you about all your homework?

AMY -- What do you mean, what do I tell him?

TIF -- You're not really going to DO all that Bible reading and
scripture memory, are you?

AMY -- Well, of course. It's part of the preparation for the
trip.

TIF -- Amy, it's one week in Mexico. We're not going to seminary
for four years. It's not like the Mexicans are going to have us
recite our memory verses.

AMY -- (smiles) We're not doing all that work for the Mexicans,
Tiffany.

TIF -- We're not?! Then, who are we doing it for?!

AMY -- We're doing it for us!

TIF -- You're kidding. You really think all this reading and
memorization is going to make us better at what we're going to
do in Mexico?

AMY -- I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think it would.

TIF -- I don't get it.

AMY -- Somehow, I didn't think you would.

TIF -- What do you mean by that?!

AMY -- I mean, I saw your performance last year on the cross
country team.

TIF -- What in the world does cross country running have to do
with a Mexico mission trip?

AMY -- A mission trip -- in fact, ANY Christian service -- is
just like running a cross country race. Or at least it should
be.

TIF -- You've lost me.

AMY -- How many weeks did we prepare for our first cross country
meet?

TIF -- Six weeks. Six miserable weeks.

AMY -- How many weeks before we go to Mexico?

TIF -- Six. But I still don't see the connection.

AMY -- Christian service and cross country racing both involve
conditioning, mental preparation, keeping your eye on the goal,
and, most of all self-denial.

TIF -- (blank look) Self-denial.

AMY -- When you were out for cross-country, did you have to
change your diet and your sleeping habits?

TIF -- Well, I should have, but...

AMY -- What happened on the day of the meet if you stayed up too
late the night before or ate too much for lunch?

TIF -- It was like carrying around a fifty-pound weight.

AMY -- And while you were in training, you had to choose between
athletics and the fun things that the other kids could do.

TIF -- Not anymore.

AMY -- That's why you quit cross country, isn't it?

TIF -- I wasn't doing all that well, anyway.

AMY -- I think you're bringing your cross country attitude with
you on this mission trip.

TIF -- What do you mean?

AMY -- Pastor Jim just gave us all a training diet of Bible
study and scripture memorization, so our minds will be in good
spiritual condition for the race in Mexico, but you're already
talking about violating the training diet. How ready do you
think you'll be on race day in Mexico?

TIF -- It's not a race. It's a stupid mission trip!

AMY -- I'm telling you from personal experience, if you get to
Mexico -- or any Christian service -- without the proper
spiritual diet and conditioning, it will be like carrying around
a fifty pound weight. You'll be as successful at Christian
service as you were in cross country racing.

TIF -- You sound like Pastor Jim. What's the big deal? We go to
Mexico, we do our thing and we come home.

AMY -- Tiffany, the Lord has uniquely gifted you with talents
that noone else has in our whole mission team. If you're out of
shape spiritually, YOU'RE job won't get done, YOU'RE job, the
job that God designed you for before the beginning of time.

TIF -- What job is that?

AMY -- I don't know. That's one of the reasons for all the
homework.

TIF -- And you think if I do all that Bible study and
memorization, the Lord will let me know what he expects me to
do?

AMY -- He will will not only show you what he expects you to do,
he will get you all fired up to do it. Did you ever wonder why
kids come back from mission trips with a smile even though
they're dog tired?

TIF -- Yeah. Yeah, I guess they do, don't they?

AMY -- It's because, when they found out exactly what the Lord
designed them to do and they prepared for it and did it exactly
as the Lord wanted them to, it's the most fulfilling thing on
earth. There is nothing like it! It's like finishing first in a
field of fifty runners!

TIF -- Yeah, but it's such a lot of work!

AMY -- Tiffany, all I can tell you is, if you don't want to do
the preparation, the training, the conditioning, the
self-denial, don't enter the race.

TIF -- Are you saying I shouldn't go?

AMY -- I'm saying why enter the race if you're not going to try
to win?

TIF -- What is there to win? It's a mission trip, for pete's
sake!

AMY -- Tiffany, there are a lot of people in Mexico, in fact,
there's a lot of people everywhere, who don't know Christ. We
may be the only Jesus that some of them will ever see. If you
don't have the endurance you need to face them day after day
after day, you could actually drive some of them away from Jesus
with your selfish behavior. I would actually prefer that you
stay home instead of being a bad witness for Jesus.

TIF -- Well, I'm not staying home. I already paid my deposit.

AMY -- I will reimburse you for your deposit.

TIF -- You what?

AMY -- I said, I will take money out of my savings account and
pay you NOT to serve the Lord, if you insist on serving without
being properly prepared.

TIF -- It's that important to you?

AMY -- Tiffany, I'm speaking from personal experience. I went on
a mission trip last year and about a week before the trip I
slacked off on my spiritual conditioning because I took my eye
off the goal. When we got there, as the project wore on, I ran
out of gas. I coasted. And I think some of the non-Christians
saw my selfishness. I'm not sure if any of them were lost for
eternity because of me. But I never want to be unprepared again.
And neither should you. So, I'll pay you to stay home.

TIF -- No! I'm not staying home! I want to make a difference in
the world!

AMY -- Are you willing to do the work?

TIF -- (sighs) Yes, if you're absolutely sure it's necessary.

AMY -- It's not only necessary, it crucial. It's the only way
you'll have the endurance to finish the race as enthusiastically
as you began.

TIF -- Alright, but I'll warn you, my work habits leave a little
be be desired. If I have a week to do the homework, I won't even
start it until the night before it's due.

AMY -- Would you like me to check with you every day? That way
we can hold each other accountable.

TIF -- Well, I wouldn't LIKE you to. But I think you SHOULD.

AMY -- (hand on Tif's shoulder as they exit) Good. I'll call you
at nine o'clock every night. And if one of us gets behind on our
homework, we'll stay on the phone until we both get caught up.

TIF -- Sounds like exactly what I need to win the race.

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