CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY

Now I saw in my dream, that as Christian toiled up a steep road in the evening, he came to a city set on a hill, and there was a great church there, and Christian quickened his weary pace to seek rest. As he entered a hall he met a man with shorn head.

DR. IVY: Good evening, friend. What a convincing costume! The stage lights are operating again. We’ve added another circuit. Will you be through with the play rehearsal in time to drop in on the bowling?

CHRISTIAN: But sir, I thought this was a house of worship—have I come again to Vanity Fair?

DR. IVY: I beg your pardon, I thought you were in the cast of Dark Pilgrimage. The sanctuary is open for meditation. This is the fellowship hall. Glad to have you watch the bowling, though. It’s a match for the championship—the Men’s Bible Class against the Usher’s Association.

CHRISTIAN: A Bible class at the game of bowls? Do you thus redeem the time in evil days? And do you speak of stage plays in this place?

DR. IVY: You seem tense, friend. Perhaps we should talk this over. Here, step into our counseling room.

Now as I dreamed, I saw Christian enter a darkened room and lie upon a couch. Dr. Ivy began to converse concerning Christian’s childhood, but Christian forthwith fell asleep. After a time Dr. Ivy left him. When Christian awakened he sought to leave, but hearing shouts, he entered a hall where men rejoiced at sport.

DR. IVY: There you are! The match is nearly over. This is the league champion about to roll. Has five consecutive strikes. Watch his follow-through! There it is! A strike!

CHRISTIAN: Would that such zeal were found among pilgrims to the celestial city! Alas, like Joash at the bed of Elisha, we smite but thrice when we should strike again and again till the ...

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