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DROPOUT  5'?m2f Maturity, accountability, failure, quiet time

LIZ -- (enters mumbling, angry, paces, to self) What's the
matter with you?! I can't believe you did it again! There is
absolutely no hope for you!

AMY -- (enters) You know if the people in the restaurant (points
to opposite exit) see you talking to yourself, they'll think
you're a little strange.

LIZ -- Why do you put up with me?

AMY -- Listen, if you don't have enough money to pay for your
lunch, I'll buy.

LIZ -- No. That's not it. I'm such a failure!

AMY -- Come on, let's go (points) into the restaurant and sit
down. We'll talk about what's bothering you.

LIZ -- It won't do any good. I'm a hopeless cause. I'm giving
up.

AMY -- Giving up.

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- Giving up on what?

LIZ -- I've tried having a daily quiet time with the Lord, just
like you said. But it's not working. I'm giving up. It's no use.

AMY -- So, you missed a quiet time during this last week, did
you?

LIZ -- One?! I missed three! I'm giving up. It's not worth the
frustration.

AMY -- Oh, that's too bad.

LIZ -- I mean, even when I have a quiet time, it's a big waste
of time. My mind wanders. I think about my to-do list, my
problems at work, all the work I have to do around the house,
even my vacation plans.

AMY -- Surely, you must spend SOME time communicating with the
Lord.

LIZ -- Of the twenty minutes I set aside for Bible reading and
prayer, about half of it is spent thinking about other things.

AMY -- Well, that's still ten minutes longer than you used to...

LIZ -- It's hopeless! I quit.

AMY -- You're right.

LIZ -- I am?

AMY -- Yes. Look, let's skip lunch. (turns away)

LIZ -- Skip lunch?!

AMY -- Sure. In fact, I think I'll quit eating lunches
altogether.

LIZ -- Why? (approaches) Aren't you feeling well?

AMY -- Oh, sure. But my mind has been so preoccupied with work
and running errands lately that I've missed three lunches during
the last week.

LIZ -- You have?

AMY -- Yes. I mean, if you can't eat lunch regularly, why eat
lunch at all? In fact, I'm so discouraged over missing lunches
that I think I'll quit eating altogether.

LIZ -- You can't do that.

AMY -- Why not? It's just not worth the frustration. I mean,
even on the days when I get away from the office and get to
lunch, I often don't eat nutritious meals. So, if I can't eat
nutritious meals all the time, I might as well give up eating
meals altogether.

LIZ -- Alright. I see your point.

AMY -- Point? What point? All I said was....

LIZ -- I've been looking at my quiet times and my Bible reading
and my prayer times all wrong. I've been treating them like an
obligation.

AMY -- You mean, they're not just an obligation?

LIZ -- No. I'll bet they're not an obligation for you!

AMY -- No. You're right. They're not. That's why I've been
encouraging you to start a daily quiet time.

LIZ -- Now that you mention it, I suppose I ought to stop
treating my times with the Lord as just another appointment and
start treating them as nutritious meals.

AMY -- That's what they are to me. Even a short snack is better
than going hungry.

LIZ -- I hadn't thought about it like that.

AMY -- Tell me, during the ten minutes of your quiet time
without distractions, do you get ANY nourishment at all?

LIZ -- Well, yes, I suppose I do. But the guilt over the OTHER
ten minutes kind of cancels out the good parts for me.

AMY -- Then, why don't you start treating the distractions
during your quiet time like junk food.

LIZ -- Like junk food?

AMY -- Yes. Sometimes when I miss lunch I eat a chocolate bar at
my desk. It has almost no food value for me. But it fills me up.
It's not something I want to make a steady diet of. So, my goal
is to minimize my intake of junk food and maximize my intake of
nutritious food.

LIZ -- I suppose I SHOULD be thinking in terms of nutrition,
shouldn't I?

AMY -- That's how I solved the problem.

LIZ -- You mean YOU used to have trouble with distractions
during your quiet times?

AMY -- I still do. But when the junk food of distractions
pollutes my mind, I just write myself a note about it and get
back to nutritious food.

LIZ -- You take notes?

AMY -- Sure. I found that if I just tried to drive a thought out
of my head, it always came back. I found that if I wrote it down
and made plans to deal with the distraction later, it freed me
up to get back to real nutrition.

LIZ -- That's a great idea. I'll get my to-do list out of my
head and on paper. That will leave room in my mind for real
nutrition.

AMY -- Speaking of nutrition, let's have lunch (points, crosses
to exit)

LIZ -- (follows) Say, you weren't really thinking of giving up
lunch, were you?

AMY -- You weren't really thinking of giving up YOUR nutrition,
were you?

LIZ -- Perish the thought.
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