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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Once upon a time, there was a king who lived on a great mountain. All his loyal subjects lived in the valley below. The only access to the palace at the top of the mountain was a steep, treacherous road that circled the outside of the mountain. The king loved his subjects and they also loved him, so he would visit his subjects daily. The trip was very dangerous down the mountain and the king had a trusted man to drive his chariot.

One day, the driver dies and an edict went out to all the kingdom that the king needed a new driver for his chariot. There would be a contest to prove the most worthy man.

The day arrived and three men came to show their worthiness as the king's trusted driver. The first man jumped in the chariot and started down the mountain in a flash, taking the curves very swiftly and skillfully, coming within a foot of the edge of the cliffs at times, but reaching the bottom in very good time. As he reached the bottom of the mountain, the people cheered wildly and said, "This is the man! This is the man!"

The next driver cracked his whip and sped off down the mountain even faster than the first. The chariot seemed to fly as it sped down the mountain, narrowly averting disaster, but making it safely to the bottom of the mountain in record time. The crowd cheered louder still, saying, "This is the man! This is the man!"

The third driver jumped into the chariot and with a steady hand started down the steep, winding road. The crowd anticipated an even faster, more breath-taking ride. But this driver stayed close to the mountain, away from the steep cliffs, taking each turn in the road carefully and confidently. As he reached the bottom of the mountain, the crowd was disappointed and silent. But the King said, "This is the man! This is the man!"

The crowd was shocked by the king's choice, but the king knew that it was better to have as his driver someone who would choose to stay close to the mountain and its safety, rather than to risk his life and the life of the king unnecessarily.

Sometimes we are like the first two drivers. We want to get as close as we can to the "edge" of the world (music, dress, dating, drugs, etc.) without realizing that we are putting ourselves and others at great risk. We NEED to stay close to God and His safety!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward