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DISCIPLINE - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:       self-control, discipline, God’s guidance
SCRIPTURE:   1 Corinthians 9: 24 - 27
Style:       allegory/conversation: a coach deals with a
.            losing athlete who insists on self-training
CAST:        COACH    (gentle, encouraging),
.            RUNNER 1 (disciplined),
.            RUNNER 2 (lazy, snide),
.            NARRATOR (could be the Coach, Pastor...)
Set & Props: stop watch, whistle, fake junk food

SCRIPT:

(RUNNER 1 stretches and warms up.
RUNNER 2 slumps in a chair eating junk-food.
COACH walks in and studies RUNNER 1 & 2.)

COACH   (to RUNNER 1)  Looking good.  
.       (to RUNNER 2)  What are you’re doing?

R 2     Eating.

COACH   I can see that.  But what should you be doing?

R 2     I suppose you’re going to tell me
.       I should be working out?  But a person
.       has to eat once in a while.

COACH   Yes-yes, I quite agree.  Now,
.       what do you think I’m going to tell you about
.       what you should be eating?

R 2     I hate healthy food.  I prefer junk food.
.       (holds up the bag of chips)

COACH   So you KNOW what you should be doing?

R 2     I know what YOU think I should be doing!
.       But I don’t agree.

COACH   You are not going to win any races this way.

R 2     Well, what makes YOU the expert?

COACH   I’m the coach.  I know these things.               2

R 2     I know a few things, too.  Like,
.       I know I like this junk food.
.       And I know that I DON’T FEEL like working out.

COACH   So you don’t care if you don’t win any races
.       and go on to the nationals?  I know that you have
.       the potential to win all those races
.       if you just applied yourself.

R 2     Oh, I’m going to win.  I’m just going to do it
.       my own way.  I’m sick and tired of having
.       to do everything you say.  I think you just like
.       hearing yourself talk.   And be in control.
.       You’re a big control freak!

COACH   I’m here to help you win.
.       What I say is only
.       to help you, not hurt you.

R 2     I just don’t buy that.  I have my own ideas
.       that might work.  Like – positive thinking.

(COACH shrugs, then blows his whistle.
RUNNER 1 and RUNNER 2 approach the COACH at the “start line”
at one end of the stage.)

COACH   Calling all competitors for the 60-yard dash.
.       Runners on your mark.  Get set. Go!

(RUNNER 1 dashes across the stage.  RUNNER 2 gasps
& trips across.  COACH studies RUNNER 2.)

COACH   What was that?

R 2     Juuuust getting warmed up.

(COACH blows his whistle.  RUNNER 1 and RUNNER 2 line up
at the other end of the stage.)

COACH   Calling all competitors for the 100-yard dash.
.       Runners on your mark.  Get set. Go!

(RUNNER 1 dashes across.  RUNNER 2 coughs and crawls across.
COACH looks at RUNNER 2.)

R 2     I’m really not a sprinter.  I’m way better         3
.       with distances.

(COACH blows his whistle.  RUNNER 1 & RUNNER 2 approach
the COACH at the “start line” at that end of the stage.)

COACH   Calling all competitors for the mile run.
.       Make sure you run all 4 laps...
.       Runners on your mark.  Get set.  Go!

(RUNNER 1 runs off stage.  Meanwhile, RUNNER 2 runs around
in 4 little-mini circles, then does a victory dance
with arms up in the air.  COACH looks at RUNNER 2.)

R 2     Winner!  I win!

COACH   You lose!  You are disqualified.

R 2     I got to the finish line first.

COACH   You didn’t do all 4 laps.  You cheated
.       and did not run the entire course.
.       You will not be going to the nationals.

R 2     (falls to knees begging)  What? No! Pleeeeeease!!!!
.       I’ll work harder - I'll work at it.

COACH   It’s too late.  Nationals start next week.

R 2     Pleeease! I really wanted to go.
.       You can’t just let me down like that.

(RUNNER 1 comes back running toward the finish line.)

COACH   I was there for you to guide you and train you,
.       but you didn’t want to listen.  You let YOURSELF down.
.       (high-fives RUNNER 1 as he comes to finish line)  
.       Congratulations.  You are going to the nationals
.       for all 3 races.

R 1     Thanks, coach.  Couldn’t have done it
.       without your help.

R 2     (tugs on the COACH’s shirt)  Please reconsider?

COACH   I can’t, there are rules that everybody
.       has to follow, including me.
.                                                          4
R 2     But it’s my life!

COACH   And so it was your choice.

(COACH & RUNNER 1 walk off together.
RUNNER 2 hangs his head and exits in the other direction.)

NARRATOR  Surely you know that many runners
.         take part in a race, but only one of them
.         wins the prize.  Run, then, in such a way
.         as to win the prize.  Every athlete
.         in training submits to strict discipline,
.         in order to be crowned with a wreath
.         that will not last; but we do it for one
.         that will last forever.  That is why
.         I run straight for the finish line;
.         that is why I am like a boxer
.         who does not waste his punches.
.         I harden my body with blows and bring it
.         under complete control, to keep myself
.         from being disqualified after
.         having called others to the contest.
.         1 Corinthians 9: 24 - 27