Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: Father's Business
By Joanne Sher
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
What else do you call it when you spend 20 years striving for a goal, working toward
what you think is your life work, only to wonder if you’ve wasted all that time and
energy on something you’re not supposed to do?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a baker. My earliest recollection is of
a trip to the bakery that has been in my family for four generations. I must have been 3 or
4. I remember just being able to peek to the top shelf of the bakery case, marveling at the
wonderful, colorful cupcakes with the intricate designs and thinking "I want to make
That’s right - unlike the typical kid, I didn’t want to EAT it, I wanted to create it. I was
dedicated to donuts, crazy about cookies and bonkers for bread. As soon as mom trusted
me in the kitchen, I was whipping up all kinds of unique items, from pineapple bagels
(NOT a success) to peanut butter-caramel cupcakes. (Dad started selling those!)
Dad....How am I EVER going to tell Dad??
He’ll want what is best for me - I know. But for the past five years he has been looking
forward to turning the business over to me, and I’ve been just as enthusiastic. How can I
ever explain this change of plans?
Just a week ago, my life was typical. Now, everything - everything - is different.
Trees look brighter, I love my parents more, and things I used to enjoy - smoking on the
corner, a drink with the guys - have lost their appeal. Sure, I still love baking, but I have a new passion - Jesus Christ.
I had heard about Him before, certainly - since birth. But somehow, it wasn’t until this
past Sunday that it all clicked. I’m a sinner. The only way I can have forgiveness and
eternal peace is to accept Christ’s sacrifice as payment for my sins and put my trust in
Well, I did it, and now all I want to do is tell every lost soul in the world about this peace and how they can have it too!
Pastor had preached on the Great Commission that day, and now, the more I think about
it, the more I know he was talking directly to me. Christ called me to "go into
all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."* I feel compelled to follow that
call, but I don’t see how I can working in Bailey’s Bakery in Broomall, Pennsylvania!
"Oh, sorry, Dad!" I put down my coffee cup on the break room table and head for the
kitchen - where I should have been ten minutes ago. "Lost track of time."
"It’s all right. Hey - could you make an extra batch of chocolate chip tarts? It’s Ted
Johnson’s birthday, and Melinda will be in for her annual dozen any time now."
"You got it, Dad."
Now, there was someone who needed Jesus. Melinda Johnson was nice enough, but I had
never met anyone who worried like she did. She lost sleep over high temperatures,
snowstorms, biting dogs, nuclear explosions, dying azaleas and most of all, her health.
She had the symptoms of every fatal illness known to man - just ask her. Despite being
the "picture of health" (Dr. Lieb’s words, not mine), she was certain she was going to die
any minute. If there was anyone who needed the peace that surpassed understanding, it
was Mrs. Johnson.
"I’ve got it."
Walking in, I see Melinda Johnson studying the various offerings in the bakery case.
"Good morning, Mrs. Johnson. Can I get you something?"
"Good morning, Evan. Let’s see...I’ll have a dozen chocolate chip tarts (it’s Ted’s
birthday, you know) and one of those," pointing to the chocolate toffee clusters I’d pulled
out of the oven just before my break.
"Right away, ma’am. So, Mrs. Johnson, how are you doing today?"
"All right, I suppose - other than this pain in my side." She lowered her voice. "Don’t tell
Ted, but I think it’s cancer."
"Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear that! Can I pray for you?"
"Well...,um..., sure, Evan. I never thought of you as a praying person, though."
"Actually, I wasn’t, Mrs. Johnson, until..."
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV
* Mark 16:15 NIV
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