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God, What Of My Own Testimony? - a short story by A.B.King

Once upon a time in a place much like where you live right now there lived a young man named Ted. He had been a Christian since birth and pretty much helped around in church for almost every day of his life.
   Ted owned a grocery store and in spite of his faithfulness in church his business just wasn’t growing.
   Ted decided to multiply his faithful deeds. He helped out twice as much in church affairs. He multiplied what he gave to the poor.  He scheduled out time inside his weekly routine to have time to volunteer for a charity work every week.  
   Ted did a lot more faithful, honorable and good things. All he wanted from God was to move to the next level in his business – all he wanted was for God to bless his business like he blesses the businesses of those who are his.
   Years past and Ted’s business wasn’t growing.
   The straw that broke the Carmel’s back was when Ted saw someone he classified as a really really really big time sinner who just gave his life to Christ only yesterday come out to testify of the miraculous growth he’d seen in his business since he became a Christian.
   Ted immediately left the church and was very mad at God.
   Since Ted was a very committed Christian and was always helping out in church, every other person who helped out felt his absence and soon the Pastor of the church went to pay Ted a visit to find out why he no longer attends church meetings.
   The Pastor tried and tried but Ted refused to be persuaded to come back to church. ‘Why should he?’ he taught to himself, ‘Why should he when God has decided to bless everyone except him in spite of the very very obvious fact that he has been more faithful than everybody else.’
   No matter how many times the Pastor came to visit and talk to Ted, Ted just wouldn’t bulge.
   Months past and Ted hadn’t been to church at all. Church members started to talk and the story as to why Ted no longer attends church meetings kept changing and no one seemed to know where these never ending – ever changing stories came from.
   The Pastor soon got fed up and after church one Sunday he asked all the leaders, deacons, choir members, ushers (anybody that held any post or responsibility in the church) to wait behind. When every other church member had left, the Pastor told them that they all would pray and fast for Ted. He declared that it would be a one week fast and none of them where to eat from 6am in the morning to 12 in the afternoon (for one week). They were going to intercede strongly for Ted, and right now in the church they (the church leaders and workers) would pray together for Ted for they would not let the devil have his soul.
   The prayer lasted 30mins and after that the Pastor dismissed them and they went home. Some who have never visited Ted before when he was a committed Christian headed straight from Ted’s home.
   Ted spent most of that day debating with his ex-fellow church members. He didn’t want to tell them the reason why he was not coming to church was because God was blessing them and not him. It was only the Pastor he told when the Pastor visited him after the first day he was absent from church.
   Ted was embarrassed and somewhat ashamed to tell his ex-fellow church members the true reason why he wasn’t going to church so he beat around the bush all day and none of them left with a clear picture of the reason why he left. The Pastor hadn’t told them the reason at the meeting with the church leaders and workers. They couldn’t even be sure that the Pastor knew the reason.
   More months past and it was like if the flood of ex-fellow church members streaming into Ted’s home to get him to come to church never ceased and would never cease.
   Ted couldn’t stand it anymore. Ted decided to run away to another city because clearly the church people won’t stop coming to his house, he can’t tell them to go away and he can’t go back to church since God had decided to give everyone a testimony except him.
   Days later Ted was climbing aboard a train. He had sold his grocery store, sold his house that was passed down to him from his Dad and packed everything that was of value to him into the bags he now carried with him. He was going to another city to start afresh. He was going to live a new life – a life free of church members, and a life free of a God that doesn’t reward those that are faithful to him.
   As Ted sat in the train and the train finally started moving Ted soon found himself in a conversation with the elderly man sitting next to him. The topic of their discussion got to so why are you leaving your home town.
   Ted didn’t know why but he just felt he should tell the old man the truth so he did.
   The old man laughed at him and told him that every day was a testimony. Every single second he took a breath was a testimony. Every time he put food in his mouth was a testimony because some people in some parts of the world even in the same country you live in don’t have food to eat or may have eaten but don’t know where their next meal would come from. Some folks can’t even eat even though they have food all because of one medical complication or the other and now they have to receive their food in liquid form through drips. Yet Ted can eat and has food and he dare complains that he doesn’t have a testimony. He (Ted) walked to the train while there are a lot of people in wheel chairs, on clutches or are bedridden; yet Ted dare complains that he doesn’t have a testimony. “What makes you think you have the right to not thank God you are not one of the people in the world in one of these terrible situations?” the old man asked Ted.
   Tears streamed down Ted’s cheeks as he thought about it. His eyes opened and he could clearly see that he was wrong. God had given him a testimony all along. Matter of fact God had given him more than one testimony every second he just couldn’t see it because he was too focused on himself and his immediate wants. He was also too focused on God blessing others that he couldn’t see that God was blessing him too. He was just too focused on thinking that God should reward people on the basis of their faithfulness alone and in proportion to it; that couldn’t see just how much God had already blessed him and was still blessing him.
   Ted buried his face in his palms and just started sobbing out loudly. He wept and wept and wept.
   Ted then felt a hand on his shoulder; he looked up with tears in his eyes and saw a train attendant. Ted’s crying had attracted the attention of almost everyone in that section of the train.
   The train attendant asked Ted if everything was Ok!
   Ted was still crying but he was now trying to control himself. It was then he looked at his side and noticed the old man was not there anymore. Where did he go? Ted asked about the old man but everyone around Ted who had seen Ted since he first sat down told him that there was never any old man next to him that the sit had always been empty. Ted told them that they were wrong that he just had a conversation with an old man that was sitting beside him. Everyone still insisted that there was no old man and that the sit next to him had always been empty.
   Ted stood up and looked around that section of the train as fast as he could but he couldn’t find the old man he had talked to. Where did the old man go? He couldn’t have jumped out the window of the moving train. He couldn’t have passed through the walls of the train and walked to another section of the train. He couldn’t have climbed on top of the train and jumped from one section and compartment to the other like it’s some action movie. Where was he? It was then it dawned on Ted. Uh – Oh! He might be an … an … an ANGEL.
   Ted quickly got off at the next stop and hopped on the first train he could find to get back home.
   When Ted returned he went back to his old Pastor and apologized to him. The Pastor rejoiced and threw a Welcome Back Party for Ted in his home. He sent out messages to his members through the Christian social online network he belonged to for them to come over for the party.
   It was a wonderful Christian party and everyone welcomed Ted back with open arms.
   Ted rented a home and used the remaining money to buy shares in a privately owned firm that needed a new shareholder.
   The firm’s worth increased a lot and based on the dividends alone Ted never needs to work for another day in his life.
   Ted now spends his time helping out at the church anytime they need a volunteer. He now knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that God is forever faithful, and we always have a reason to give him thanks.


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