SNAIL    6'2m0f Priorities, purity, goals: lesson from a snail

(both enter simultaneously from opposite sides)

SON -- What's going on Dad? Mom said you wanted to see me.

DAD -- Yes, I did.

SON -- Can't it wait? I mean, the party is in full swing.
(points over shoulder)

DAD -- Yes, I noticed that nineteen of the twelve girls you
invited showed up.

SON -- Come on, Dad. A guy only graduates once. Anyway, it was
your idea to have a graduation party.

DAD -- I know. I'm just joking.

SON -- So, what's so important?

DAD -- This. (produces a shoe box, whose bottom and top are gift
wrapped separately for easy opening)

SON -- (points) That's the box that's been in your closet since
I can remember.

DAD -- Yes. It's a family tradition.

SON -- An empty box?

DAD -- I put something in it for your graduation, just like my
grandfather did for my Dad and my dad did for me. I hope you'll
think enough of this gift to pass it on to your son too.

SON -- What is it?

DAD -- Open it and find out.

SON -- (takes box, opens it, smiles) Is this, like, the family

DAD -- No, it's you're graduation gift.

SON -- A snail?!

DAD -- Not the snail. The gift is the lesson of the snail: The
three secrets of success in life.

SON -- Three secrets of success in life? From a stupid snail?

DAD -- From a snail.

SON -- Alright, I'm listening. What are the three life-lessons of
the snail?

DAD -- Keep moving.

SON -- (pause) And?

DAD -- And what?

SON -- You said there were THREE lessons from the snail. One of
the lessons is "keep moving". What are the other two lessons?

DAD -- That's the second and third lesson, too.

BOTH -- Keep moving.

SON -- (turns toward exit, turns back, looks in box, sighs) Is
this going to take long?

DAD -- If experience is any predictor, this will take about a

SON -- (sighs)

DAD -- Bear with me, Son, this won't take long at all. (points
into box) Do you see the trail of slime behind the snail?

SON -- Yes.

DAD -- The snail moves so slowly that, if it weren't for that
trail of slime, it would be difficult to notice that the snail
is making any progress at all. Yet, I put this snail in this box
only about five minutes ago and you can see he's already made a
lot of progress.

SON -- (sigh) Okay, I think I see the first lesson of the snail.
Keep moving forward, even though you can't see that you're
making any progress.

DAD -- Bingo. Abraham was over a hundred years old before God's
purpose in him was fulfilled, Noah was over 600 years old before
the Lord was finished with him. (reaches into pocket, pulls out
an imaginary pinch of sugar, drops it carefully in box)

SON -- What's that, the second lesson of the snail?

DAD -- Yes.

SON -- What is that, salt?

DAD -- No, it's a couple of grains of sugar.

SON -- Well, you just messed up the first lesson. The snail is
not moving anymore.

BOTH -- He stopped to eat.

SON -- So, the second lesson of the snail is "keep moving except
when I'm eating?"

DAD -- Think a bit more spiritually.

SON -- My daily quiet time.

DAD -- Exactly. This snail is really stupid. He moves at random
around the box, looking for food. But his food is stupid too. It
doesn't tell him where to find his next food.

SON -- So what you're saying is, the food I get from my daily
quiet time cuts down on the randomness of my movement.

DAD -- You're so bright. No wonder your mother calls you son.

SON -- Alright, lesson number two from the snail: keep moving
except when stopping to ask for directions. (points up)

DAD -- I like that. Pass that on to YOUR son.

SON -- Alright, now you've got my curiosity up. What's the
third life-lesson from this stupid snail?

DAD -- (reaches into pocket, pulls out an imaginary pinch of
sugar, drops it carefully in box)

SON -- More sugar. Sorry, Dad, I already learned that lesson.

DAD -- (reaches into other pocket, pulls out an imaginary tiny
object, drops it carefully in box) No, this one is different.

SON -- Is that what I think it is?

DAD -- Yes, it is. It's a rat dropping.

SON -- A rat dropping?! Eeeeuuuu! Gross!

DAD -- I'm placing it between the snail and the sugar.

SON -- Eeeeuuu! He's eating it!

DAD -- The snail has an excuse. He's extremely stupid.

SON -- I'll say.

DAD -- He is within easy reach of that delicious sugar, but he
settles for much, much less.

SON -- (sigh) I think I see why you took me aside during this
party, Dad.

DAD -- Why?

SON -- To tell me that the Lord has a purpose for my life that
is as sweet and pure as sugar. But it would be sooooo easy to
settle for a lot less. (points over shoulder at party).

DAD -- I'm not saying you shouldn't ENJOY the parties and the

SON -- I know, but life-lesson number three from the snail is
pretty clear. If I'm ever tempted to settle for less than God's
best for me,...


SON -- Thanks, Dad! (hugs)

DAD -- (pulls envelope from pocket, offers it) Here's something
else for your graduation.

SON -- Oh, thanks, Dad!

DAD -- Here, let me take that. (attempts to take box)

SON -- No. This is a really cool family tradition. I want to show
it to the guys. (points)

DAD -- It'll probably gross out the girls.

SON -- (shrugs, backing away) Maybe so, but I think everybody
could learn a lesson or three from a stupid snail.

DAD -- Okay.

SON -- Aren't you coming?

DAD -- (points over shoulder) I have to wash my hands.

SON -- Oh, yeah.

DAD -- Happy Graduation, son. (exits)

SON -- Thanks, Dad. (turns, exiting, looking in box) Keep

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