Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)
By Rhonda Ritenour
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As Robert arrived at his office, he knew exactly what went wrong last night. He evidently had lost his skills in persuasion. “But how?” he wondered aloud as he closed his door to his office for a few moments before the weekly meeting with his boss, Gerald Becker, President and CEO of the company and the one who told Robert yesterday of his desire to change Becker & Associates to Becker & Barnes.
At eight o’clock, Robert slowly opened the door to Mr. Becker’s office. As usual, Gerald greeted Robert with his fatherly hug and pat on the back, all the while calling him “son”. “Not for long…” thought Robert.
As Mr. Becker went through the usual run-down and the tedious financial report, Robert‘s mind wandered to last night’s disaster.
It started off quite well. He picked up the boss’s daughter on time; they talked comfortably in the car on the way to the restaurant and even through dinner. She was delightful and beautiful, just like his boss had said. So why did he have to go and blow it? Why couldn’t he have just lied? But no, he couldn’t lie. Not to those innocent, trusting, gorgeous blue eyes that seemed to stare right into his very soul as she asked, “So, Robert… How long have you been a Christian?”
“Ahem…” The clearing of his boss’s throat brought Robert abruptly back to reality. “Son, are you feeling ok? You haven’t looked yourself since you walked through that door. Did last night go ok? Were able to persuade her to keep seeing you?
“Uh… well… you see sir… we just didn’t… I mean, I just didn’t … well, let’s just say, I failed.”
“What do you mean you failed? I was certain you two would make an amazing pair, not to mention that this would greatly benefit the future of the company…”
“Yes sir, I know all that. However, your daughter seemed to think that the matter of me not being a Christian ended any potential of having that type of conversation.”
“Oh… Robert…I’m sorry…”
“Yes, I am too. However, I couldn’t lie to her, sir. She was so kind and wasn’t at all like the religious nuts I have been use to meeting in my life. Even though she continued to show kindness and chat comfortably with me for the rest of the night, she made it clear that my not being a Christian allowed for no further discussion about a romantic-based relationship in our future. I respect that, sir, and also understand if you feel the need to let me go or forget that promotion we talked about because of how this went.”
“What’s that? Forget the promotion? Are you kidding? You are my best associate! I’ll admit that it saddens me to hear this, especially since I persuaded you to go this route, but I am also encouraged.”
“Really?! How so?”
“This situation allowed you to be face to face with God’s loving- kindness. It may not have seemed that way last night, but it was in how my daughter chose to end the relationship before it even started. Though she may have been attracted to you, and I don’t doubt she was, she knew that it would do you both an injustice to be joined together without sharing a common relationship with the One True Love. And even though you say you failed last night, I don’t see it that way. I see it as a divine appointment.”
“Yes sir… I think I can see that now, and I deeply appreciate your kindness through all of this.”
“You’re more than welcome, son.”
When Robert left the office, Gerald sighed and recalled his favorite scripture…
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.”
“Lord, You know I would never have purposefully set up my daughter with a non-Christian, but it’s obvious You had that meeting planned so that Robert and I could have this conversation today. You are the master of persuasion; help me to reflect that type of loving-kindness as I guide Robert on this journey. Amen.”
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