.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

OBSTACLE COURSE - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        God’s will, pride, temptations, anxiety
SCRIPTURE:    Jer.6:16, Luke 12:29-31, 1 Cor.10:13,
.             Eph.5:15-17
Style:        allegory/spoof of an obstacle course
.             competition:  people need to get through
.             the gauntlet without getting distracted
.             HUMBLE PIE, BIG GUY, 2 GIRLS,
Set & Props:  microphone,
.             table, 2 chairs,
.             table with food and cell phone,
.             rack of clothes with “sale” sign,
.             table stand with Gameboy,
.             sign: “come this way” with arrow
.                    pointing left,
.             sign: “God’s way” with arrow
.                    pointing right


(HOST steps out at stage right and makes announcement.)

.       Where competitors see how quickly and easily
.       they can get through the gauntlet.
.       Our first competitor today is Heman!

(HEMAN steps out striking some body-building poses,
to show off all his muscles.)

HOST    Heman?  Are you ready to see how quickly
.       and easily you are able to complete
.       the obstacle course?

(HOST sticks the microphone to HEMAN.)

HEMAN   Bring it on!  No problem.  I can do it.

HOST    All right!  All you have to do is –
.       get to the other side.
.       Sound simple enough?

HEMAN   (into the mic)  Bring it on!

HOST    The time is running and - go!

(HEMAN starts to cross the stage toward stage left.     2
HOST follows behind him and gets slightly ahead
in order to continue announcing each movement.)

HOST    Heman is off to a good start.
.       Ah, he sees the big guy at the table.
.       And Heman - stops to arm wrestle.

(BIG GUY sits at a small table cracking his knuckles.
HEMAN sits down with a daring look and arms wrestles
with the BIG GUY.  GIRL with “God’s way” sign steps up
and points toward the finish line, but HEMAN is too
involved with his wrestling.)

HOST    Heman is exerting an extreme amount of energy
.       right now...

(HEMAN finally wins and stands up with poses and
victory growls.  HOST announces WITHOUT excitement.)

HOST    And Heman – wins the little fight.
.       But- has lost sight of the bigger picture.

(Ignoring the “God’s way” sign, HEMAN growls and picks up
his chair to raise it above his head.  Then seeing
the table, raises that above his head with a growl.)

HOST    Heman is really using a lot of energy,
.       and a lot of his own strength.
.       But- not really accomplishing all that much.

(Seeing the sign briefly, HEMAN nods and continues on.
HEMAN passes the food table and notices the GIRL with
the “come this way” sign.  HEMAN quickly grabs the sign,
rolls it up and raises it above his head a few times
with a growl.)

HOST    Heman benches the sign using even more
.       of his strength and energy.

(Throwing the sign down, HEMAN sees the table stand
with the Gameboy.  He picks up the stand in one hand
and the Gameboy in the other hand and raises them high
with one final growl.)

HOST    And Heman gives us one more show
.       of his strength,
.       before making it to the finish.

(HEMAN reaches the end, out of breath.)
.                                                       3
HOST    So, HEMAN, how do you think you did?

HEMAN   I did GREAT.  I did – all that stuff – and I –
.       got through – to the end.  Boy, am I’m tired,
.       but I did it.  And I beat all the competition
.       at all their games.  Rah!  No one is going
.       to beat me!  It feels pretty good, but –
.       I’m going to need some recovery time now.
.       See – look at all my battle scares.  Arrr...
.       (feeling pain)  Ah, so is there a medic anywhere?

(HOST motions to off stage, and HEMAN limps off.
HOST walks back to the start and WIMPY steps out.)

HOST    Our next competitor is – Wimpy!
.       Come over here, Wimpy.
.       So, are you ready for this?

WIMPY   I – I think so.  I’m not as strong as Heman,
.       that’s for sure.

HOST    No problem.  Just try to get through the course
.       as quickly and easily as you can.
.       The time is running – and go!

(WIMPY starts with a jog.  When he reaches the BIG GUY,
WIMPY shies back a little, sizing the BIG GUY up.)

HOST    Wimpy reaches the big guy.
.       He has stopped to study the situation
.       and size up the opponent.
.       What is he going to do?

(WIMPY slyly steps past the table.)

HOST    He has decided NOT to take on the big guy.

(WIMPY sees the table of food and looks at it longingly.)

HOST    Wimpy sees the food.  Oh, wait –

(WIMPY catches sight of the GIRL with the “come this way”
sign.  GIRL is waving him over to get off course.
WIMPY steps over to the girl and starts to follow her
toward the back of the stage in the opposite direction.)

HOST    Wimpy has become distracted.
.       Ah, very, very distracted.

(GIRL holding “God’s way” sign keeps stepping           4
in WIMPY’S way and pointing toward the finish line.
The two GIRL’S both try to hold WIMPY’S attention.
WIMPY scratches his head.)

HOST    What will Wimpy’s decision be?

(WIMPY finally chooses to go “God’s way”.
He takes a few steps forward, looking back a few times,
wondering if he made the right decision.)

HOST    He’s coming this way – oh – no – yes – no –
.       well – he certainly looks confused.
.       Like – he’s not exactly sure what he wants.

(GIRL with “come this way” sign now rushes over
to the Gameboy and points to the game.)

HOST    Coming forward, he sees something else.
.       Wimpy has spotted the Gameboy.

(As soon as WIMPY sees the Gameboy, he quickly picks
it up and starts to play.  GIRL with “God’s way” sign
silently and continually reminds WIMPY which way to go.)

HOST    Wimpy is playing at lightning speed.
.       He’s good, I have to say that much.
.       Obviously, he has played this before.
.       And he’s probably had his share of practice.
.       Lots of practice.  But how long
.       will he take though?

(WIMPY finally looks up to blink and wipes his face.)

HOST    Looks like he needs a break – ah – noooo –
.       I think he’s digging deep to find the stamina
.       to keep on going.

(WIMPY sees the “God’s way” sign and thinks.)

HOST    What’s it going to be?

(It is difficult, but WIMPY finally manages to put
the Gameboy down and continue on to the finish.)

HOST    Wimpy puts the Gameboy down – up – and down-
.       finally - and Wimpy pulls through.
.       He has made it through the course.
.       (to WIMPY)  So tell us, Wimpy,
.       how you are feeling right now?
.                                                       5
WIMPY   Wow, I can’t say that was easy.
.       I think I did a little better than last time.
.       I’m not going to lie though,
.       there are still a few things I could improve.

HOST    There you go.  Excellent attitude.
.       True sportsman.  Really, I always like to see
.       someone who looks for ways to improve.

(HOST goes back to the start and WORRY-WART comes out.)

HOST    Our next competitor is Worry-Wart.
.       Come over here, Wart.  How do you think
.       you’re going to do here today?

WART    I’m, just going to try – the best that I can.
.       I know the things that are important to me,
.       so that can help me stay focused.

HOST    Okay, are you ready?  The time is running –
.       and go!

(WART timidly steps across.  Reaching the BIG GUY,
WART pauses in fear as the BIG GUY cracks his knuckles.)

HOST    Wart has met up with the big guy,
.       but it looks like she’s not even
.       going to take up the challenge there.

(WART timidly circles around the BIG GUY, but seeing
the food and clothes, her eyes widen.)

HOST    Looks like WART has seen something she needs.

(WART nods and rubs her tummy like she’s hungry and
takes a few bites of the food.  Seeing the clothes rack,
she steps over and quickly rifles through the articles.)

HOST    And perhaps she sees a few things she – wants.

(WART nods enthusiastically.  Finding a large purse,
she jumps up and down with great excitement.  Looking
back at the food, she grabs another bite, then sorts
through the clothes again.  WART puts a few articles on.
GIRL with “God’s way” sign steps up as a reminder.
WART ignores her with irritation.)

HOST    Looks like she WANTS - quite a FEW items there.

(WART eyes the HOST with squinty eyes.)                 6

HOST    Or - there are a few items she thinks she NEEDS.

(WART nods.  Seeing the food again, she crams as much
of the food into her purse as possible.  Then grabs
all or as much of the clothing as she can wear and carry.
WART is maybe ready to continue.)

HOST    I think Wart - is ready to move on –

(GIRL with “come this way” sign points to the other way,
and then the Gameboy.  WART waves that off easily,
but then panics again and looks back.)

HOST    Wait, something is wrong –
.       she still has something else to do –
.       Seems like she’s worried
.       that she’s forgotten something, or
.       like she won’t ever see something ever again.

(WART rushes back to the food table and eats
a little more, then stuffs more food into her purse.)

HOST    I guess she wasn’t – quite – finished –

(WART sees the cell phone and picks it up to dial out.
She puts up a ‘one moment’ finger and turns her back
to have a chat.)

HOST    Aaand – I suppose this must also
.       be very important.  Perhaps she’s worried
.       that she’ll miss out on something else.

(GIRL with “God’s way” sign stands in front of her.
WART hangs up, grabs another bite, makes sure she is
carrying as much as she can, then goes to the end.)

HOST    Worry-Wart makes it!   Finally!

WART    I did finish though!  My time
.       was probably faster than Wimp’s.
.       And I also managed to take care
.       of the things that are most important - to me.
.       And that call WAS important.
.       If I don’t call my BFF every hour,
.       she’ll think I was ignoring her.

HOST    So do you think you could have done
.       any better than what you did?
.                                                       7
WART    Ah, (thinks) I guess now that I think about it,
.       this sweater here was a little unnecessary.
.       I already have ten sweaters at home.
.       But even though it’s a little extravagant,
.       I got an awesome deal on it.
.       And FOOD, you know, is very important.
.       You just never know when you are going
.       to run out.  You ALWAYS need food.

HOST    Well, congratulations on at least finishing.
.       You can go back stage with the rest.
.       There’s – ah - a food table waiting there
.       for everyone.  Like always.

(WART hears the word food and rushes out.
HOST goes back to the start.  HUMBLE-PIE comes out.)

HOST    Our final competitor is Humble-Pie.  So?
.       Are you ready for this obstacle course?

PIE     Could you please repeat the purpose again?

HOST    Just get through the gauntlet as quickly
.       and easily as you possibly can.

PIE     Thank you.  (pauses to focus...)
.       Okay, I’m – ready.

HOST    The time is running – and go!

(PIE sees GIRL with “God’s way” sign.  Keeping eyes fixed
on the sign, PIE follows her, right straight through –
right to the end.)

HOST    Humble-pie is – is reading the sign
.       and is keeping his/her eyes fixed on the words –
.       (getting excited)  following the words –
.       only a few little glances to the side
.       here and there, but – trying to stay focused –
.       and on track.  And Humble-pie does it!
.       Record time!  Amazing!  Congratulations!
.       (to HUMBLE-PIE)  Please tell us how you did this?

PIE     Well, it was very simple, actually.
.       I knew what the purpose was,
.       and I followed the directions.
.       It – really wasn’t me at all – I mean –
.       you told me what the purpose was,
.       and the words lead me right to it.
.                                                       8
HOST    Tell me, were you at all tempted
.       along the way?

PIE     Well, honestly, there were
.       a few temptations, but
.       I did not choose to follow any of them.
.       When I saw the big guy,
.       I figured that - if I just kept my distance
.       I’d be okay.  I did see the food,
.       but I know that this show provides that.
.       I already have some clothes,
.       so that’s just not that important right now.
.       The phone calls can wait.
.       I did notice the sign saying “come this way” –
.       so I did take a moment to think about that one.

HOST    And what were your thoughts on that?

PIE     It just said “come this way” –
.       but - which way is that?
.       The message was very vague.
.       It could have lead any which way.
.       It probably lead to some sort of trouble,
.       so I continued to focus on the words
.       that actually gave me a true direction.
.       And, the Gameboy, well, I always like
.       to first finish the important stuff
.       before having any leisure time.
.       I did have a purpose to carry out.

HOST    And you did a great job.
.       Thank you so much for participating.
.       And THAT – is how it’s done, folks.

(HOST and HUMBLE-PIE exit.)