20 – Searching for Answers – Influences of Others

Where is Joe’s head at? He admitted he is falling in love with Sarah but will Carol disrupt his feelings? Will his decisions stop all the dreams? What will Sarah’s reaction be the next time they are together?

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Joe’s head was still spinning as he leaned back against his pillow. All he could think about was how he had just placed his faith in God and that he told Sarah he loved her and she had told him the same. I am ready to move on. I feel great! Life is changing and I am ready. No one will ever again make me doubt myself and the things I have decided to place my faith in.

Joe continued thinking about Sarah and could hear the words “I love you to Joe” bouncing softly around his mind as if she was still on the phone with him when his alarm went off. Jumping out of bed he headed for the shower and before he knew it he was driving into the parking lot at work just at the same time Tom arrived and pulling up alongside of him. As they made their way toward the entrance, Tom stopped. Hey, where did you go yesterday? I saw you pull a U-turn just down the street. Well I had something come up and I needed to get it resolved. So I called in and took a personal day. What’s the matter, you couldn’t get through the day without me, Joe said with a loud laugh. Ha, ha replied Tom. I just never see you miss work. You are the one who is always here. Well let’s just say, I am really glad I took the day off replied Joe as they punch the clock and made their way into the shop.

   It’s wasn’t long and the buzzer went off for break. Joe grabbed his thermos and was pouring himself a cup of coffee when Tom walked over and sat down with a Coke in hand and quickly said; so tell me what has made you so happy today. What happen yesterday that put you in such a good mood? It must be good! Well, I am not sure you would understand Tom. Try me, Tom responded with a smirk on his face. Hey, did you and Sarah get together and… No Tom, Sarah and I are not doing that Joe quickly barked out with a disgusted look on his face. Ok, but you did see Sarah again. You played hooky from work to hang out with Sarah didn’t you? You’ve got it wrong Tom. Just as Tom was ready to ask what was so all powered important to miss work over the buzzer sounded saving Joe from any further explanation.

Before long it was noon and Joe headed outside just to avoid Tom and escape all the questions. As he walked around he began to realize that his life was taking a turn that he was not sure he was ready for. I feel really good about my decision to place my faith in God and I really do love Sarah. So what is my problem? I really thought all my issues with life would just go away. Come on God, I need a little more help here Joe said to himself. Joe walked over and sat down by a big tree and started talking to God like he had the night before. Just what am I going to do now? I believe in you and want to be able to tell people that I do. You know me God. I’m generally willing to tell people what is on my mind. I want to tell them about everything I have uncovered while I was trying to understand all this. I just don’t know how I am going to do it. What will I say and how will I say it? So many of my friends still think and believe like I did before You help me figure these things out. They don’t even give You a second thought. Just then Joe heard a voice and looked up to see a stranger looking at him. Hey man, you know you are talking to yourself don’t you. No I am not responded Joe with a startled look on his face. Looking around the stranger replied; then just who were you talking to then? I guess I was talking to God Joe responded. Not believing he just said that, he looked up at the stranger to see his reaction which totally surprised him. I understand was the strangers reply. I talk to him too. I love it when He talks back to me. It’s not always with words, but I always know when He is trying to tell me something. Well I will leave you to your talks and you might want to try not moving your lips or letting out sounds unless you are some place private. Somebody might think you’re a little nuts. Remember, God always knows what you need. The problem is we don’t always listen very well. We let our personal desires, our own thoughts and decisions run our life. So remember to talk to Him and you can talk to Him without speaking out loud and He can hear you just fine. He is always there to help you when you need Him if you just take a moment and let Him. Thanks, I will remember that Joe responded as he started to get up to head back to the shop. Joe took a couple of steps and stopped, turning around he said what is your name just as the stranger vanished around the corner of the building. Joe quickly ran to the corner of the building but the stranger was nowhere to be found.

Joe stood still and shook his head in disbelief at how fast the stranger disappeared, then turned around and headed back to the shop. The rest of the day went by quickly and before long he was headed to his car when Tom walked up behind him saying; so let go grab a beer and you can tell me the rest of the story. Joe could still hear the words of the stranger tell him that God would help him so he agreed and they headed to the Pub to talk.

They walked in and found a table off to the side and had just sat down when Carol walked up with a big smile. Hi Joe as she brushed up against him. Did you get my note last night? Tom look at Joe and his mind was off to the races. Yah, I got it. There is something we need to talk about Carol, so we should catch up and I can tell you about things. Sounds like some things have changed in your life Carol replied with a big smile. Let me know when we can get together. In the meantime, what can I get you guys? How about a couple of those IPA’s you have on special replied Tom. Sure thing as she again smiled at Joe brushing his shoulder with her hand as she turned and headed back to fill their order. Tom looked at Joe with a big grin and a chuckle saying; I think she still likes you my man. You little devil you. You better be careful playing two girls at one time. I don’t think you are man enough to handle that. No, no, no replied Joe! It is not like that. I think Carol would like to see if we still have something left, but I don’t. We had a good time when we hung out together, but I never felt like she was the real deal for me. Actually I don’t think she ever felt we would become a permanent item either. Sarah’s my girl and I’m not going to do anything to mess that up. Ok, now you got my attention Joe. What is it about Sarah that is so different anyway. Sure she is cute, ok really cute, but she is also one of those religious types. Are you sure you want to go down that road? Well Tom, she has helped me with a lot of things I have been struggling with. You already know about my dreams that just won’t go away. Talk about real. They are so real I wake up and remember every detail. Sarah has been helping me do a lot of research on the topic of evolution and creation to try to find some answers. The problem was that part of me wanted to find an answer and the other half just wanted the dreams to quit so I could move on with life. But, the deeper we dug, the more real things became. This is the reason I called out yesterday. Oh boy Joe, you really are messed up with this aren’t you? Not anymore Tom. Not anymore. So what is it that has settled your mind, or better yet what have you finally determined the answers are, Tom inquired as he looked at Joe with a bewildered look on his face?

Joe sat silent in his chair as he pondered the question from Tom. How am I going to answer this? He is going to think I am a nut case. He will think I have become some radical believer in God. He will think I am history as a friend. He will never want to hang out with me again. He will tell all our friend that I have turned to the other side. He will make fun of me around other people like he does when he knows someone is a Christian. Tom has a big mouth and loves to joke around and sometimes he get carried away even when he doesn’t mean too. Oh I need some help God. How am I going to handle this?

Ok Joe, out with it. Just as Joe was about to attempt an answer, Carol showed up with their drinks. Hey guys, I thought you looked like you need a little nourishment after a hard day at work so I brought you a small order of hot wings – on the house of course as she smiled at Joe. Wouldn’t want you to waste away to nothing. Wow, thanks Carol Tom replied jolting Joe back to life with the reply; yah thanks Carol. That’s really nice of you. But you didn’t have to and we will pay for them. Tom sat looking at Joe thinking free wings and you want to pay for them. No, my treat as she walked over and put her hand on Joe’s sending him a signal that no one could misinterpret.

   Joe picked up his beer and took a long hard swallow. Sitting it back down he picked up a wing and started to eat it when Tom offered up the comment; you got some problems ahead of you my friend. Not sure how you are going to handle them. Joe just sat quietly continuing to eat the wings and slowly drinking his beer. How can all these things be happening to me all at one time? Why me? Why can’t life just be simple? Go to work, have a girlfriend, go out with friends and just have some fun? Joe jumped when Tom said; hey man where are you anyway? You still alive? You’re sitting there looking like something I never want to become. I got just the solution. You need a night out on the town. How about you get Sarah and I will get Ann and we can go out this weekend and do dinner, have a few drinks, and maybe some dancing at the club. Better yet, maybe we should get the gang together and go out to our favorite camping spot and just have a good old party? Yah, that sound like fun Tom, Joe responded before he realized what he had just agreed to. Ok, it’s a done deal. I will send out a text and let everyone know. You and Sarah show up and I will bring the drinks, my treat. Joe sat back when it hit him that he had just committed Sarah to a party that he didn’t even know if she would go to. Of course I need to check with Sarah to see if she is free Saturday night before I am sure we will come Tom quickly added. Well Joe, I am going to have the party one way or the other. So do what you need to do and I hope you two will come.

“To be continued”

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How is Joe going to handle this? What about Sarah? Will she go to this party with him? Will Carol show up now that she is back in town? Will Tom get a little carried away and decide to have some fun with Joe and bring up some of the things he has told him? 

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