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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: Forgive or Forfeit
By Gloria Haynes
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Would it never let up? Hadn't last night been enough? Her own minister had gone on for an hour about the need to forgive in order to make one's heart ready for God. How did they synchronize their sermons? It seemed like a conspiracy.
Rachel repositioned her body in the seat and waited for the message to pass. If she could only make it through the day, she could leave work and escape to the retreat.
Every year the weekend spiritual retreat was held at an isolated campground thirty miles from her house. No phones, no television, no work, and no nagging at her to forgive.
The year that had passed since the last retreat had been a difficult one. She had left her job after a blow-up with a co-worker. Rachel had to admit she had really lost her tempter that day. The scathing words she casted on Daniel had left scars -- and not just on him.
Her new job had helped heal some of the pain, but that day lived on every time she allowed herself to let her guard down for a moment. Rachel could still feel the pressure of Daniel's questioning about the report due the next day. She could still feel the anger that grew within her like a fire. And she could still hear the horrible names she had called him echoing in her memory.
Daniel had presented the most difficult obstacle in her career, and after walking out that fateful day, he had thrown every obstacle possible into her quest for a new position. It was only when she applied to work with their biggest competitor that she could find work again.
But tonight would mark a new beginning. Rachel would spend three days at the retreat and come home with a renewed heart. Of that much, she was sure.
"Forgive," the radio minister warned from his hidden pulpit in the speaker. "Or forfeit God's blessings."
He was speaking to her, she realized, just as her own minister had the night before. Could she? Was it possible?
Rachel pressed the button on her cell phone for speaker call.
"Daniel? It's Rachel. I wanted to say, 'I'm sorry.'"