Too Busy Jake
By: Mikal Keefer with Jean Boonstra
“Hello, Jake,” Mr. Simon said. “Welcome to Trekkers. How may I help you?”
Jake unfolded a piece of paper. “I need a lot of stuff,” he said.
“Well,” Mr. Simon said glancing at the long list. “We have everything on here. Wait, hockey pucks? Why do you need those?”
“I’m covering the Junior Hawks’ practice sessions while their coach is out of town,” Jake explained.
“I see,” Mr. Simon answered. “I heard that you’re also in charge of the spelling bee this year.”
“Indubitably. That’s an eleven-letter word for ‘yes’, “ Jake replied.
“And you’re head of the Discovery Mountain knitting group, too,” Mr. Simon asked quizzically.
“Knitting is highly underrated,” Jake replied with a nod.
The Trekkers front door opened. “Oh hi Natasha,” Jake said. “You look nice!”
“Thank you,” Natasha said. “Jake, you look flustered.”
“I’m not flustered,” Jake scowled. “I’ve just got a lot to do!”
“Is one of those things getting ready for my history class presentation?” Natasha asked.
Jake scratched his head.
“You promised that you’d dress up as Abraham Lincoln and recite the Gettysburg Address,” Natasha exclaimed. “You forgot didn’t you, Jake?”
“I remember now that you remind me. Mr. Simon, add a stovepipe hat to my list,” he said.
“We’re fresh out of stovepipe hats,” Mr. Simon said. “And before you ask, we don’t have a fake beard department either.”
Jake put his head in his hands. “This is a disaster,” he murmured.
“Jake,” Mr. Simon asked kindly. “You remember the parable Jesus told of the father who told his two sons to work in his vineyard, right?”
“Yes,” Jake said, his head still in his hands.
“How does that parable go?” Natasha asked.
“The older son said that he wouldn’t work in the vineyard, but then he changed his mind and went to work. The younger son said he’d work, but he didn’t show up at all!” Jake said.
“Jesus asked the people listening to the parable which of the two sons had obeyed the father,” Mr. Simon said.
“Oh, now I remember,” Natasha said. “They said that the older son, the one who actually showed up, pleased the father, right?”
“Yes indeedy!” Jake said, lifting his head out of his hands. “I get it!”
“Get what?” Natasha asked, confused.
“If I promise to do something for someone or for God I have to actually show up and do it,” Jake explained.
“Promises don’t mean much if you don’t show up to do the things you said you would,” Mr. Simon agreed.
“I’m too busy,” Jake groaned. “How do I choose between all the things I’ve promised?”
“Jake,” Mr. Simon asked. “Have you asked God what He wants you to do?”
“That sounds like a good place to start,” Jake agreed.
“My students can make paper hats and take turns reading the Gettysburg Address tomorrow,” Natasha said. “That way you can keep a few of your promises to others.”
“Thanks Natasha,” Jake grinned.
“And, I used to play a little hockey back in the day. I can help you with the Junior Hawks,” Mr. Simon said.
“Thanks Mr. Simon,” Jake beamed.
“We’re here for you, Jake,” Mr. Simon said. “You don’t have to struggle alone to keep your promises.”
Listen to the episode called, “Too Busy Jake“