Once upon a time there lived a 13 year old boy named Jonah. He was a Christian boy who was raised by two strong church going parents and he had a little sister named Sarah.
The holidays came by and as everyone in the family loves skiing, the family set out to go to their favorite ski resort like they always do every holiday.
Jonah who was normally crazy about skiing was reluctant to go. Jonah trembled on the inside at the taught of what being lay in wait for him at the resort. Oh! If only Jonah could tell his folks about the dread waiting for him. But Oh! He knew he couldn’t – he couldn’t let them know.
Jonah’s parents and little sister were shocked and tried to find out why Jonah was reluctant to go, but Jonah kept running around their questions until to stop the questioning he put up a pretense enthuasim to go.
They all leave for the ski resort.
When they got to the ski resort, Jonah avoided going out to ski. Two days later his Mum notices it. He normally is the first one out to ski in their family but it had been days and Jonah hadn’t even so much as touched his skis.
Jonah’s Mum asks Jonah if something was wrong. Jonah told her that nothing was wrong. How could he tell her he was in the last place he wanted to be right now? How could he tell her that going out on the slopes would be risking meeting his greatest fear?
“Then why don’t you want to go out and ski?” Mum asked.
“I saw some of your friends from last year when I and your Dad went to hit the slopes some hours ago”, Mum added hoping that bit of information would encourage Jonah to hit the slopes. But rather it seemed to produce a brief shivering motion in Jonah if Jonah’s Mum saw correctly.
“I want to make new friends”, Jonah replied.
“Is anything wrong?”, Jonah’s Mum asked now getting really worried.
“Nothing is wrong.”
It was clear to Jonah at this point that his Mum was now 100% intent on finding out what was wrong and she wouldn’t stop until she got an answer. Unless, he gave her no reason to be asking the question in the first place; and the more he stayed there like something was wrong instead of going out to ski, the more he would give her a reason to asked questions. So as usual, Jonah put up his pretence enthuasim and gathered his ski gear together, with his Mum still watching him he headed out the door saying he’s going to ski with his friends.
When Jonah was out of his Mum’s sight he ducked behind a corner and decided he would enter the elevator and head to the elderly folks lounge where he would be sure not to meet any of his friends or anyone else he knows. Then after spending sometime there he would head back to the family’s hotel room so it would look like he had spent the time skiing.
As soon as the elevator doors parted open and Jonah was about to step in, Jonah saw the last person he wanted to meet stepping out of the elevator with more people he didn’t want to meet. It was the girl named Jessica who had beaten him in a ski race during last holiday. She was surrounded by some friends who had witnessed her victory last year.
Could this day get any worse Jonah said beneath his voice.
Jessica greeted Jonah but Jessica’s friends went straight to taunting Jonah and reminding him of Jessica’s victory last year. Like he needed to be reminded.
The little event staged by just a small group of kids had torn him apart. It had changed him forever. It had made him dread Jessica. It had made him dread the skiing resort. It had made him dread a rematch. It had almost completely drained his love for his favourite sport.
Now Jonah was being taunted he had to step up. He had to do it. Even though he dreaded it.
“I challenge you to a rematch”, Jonah barked.
“Ok! Let’s go right now”, Jessica confidently and calmly replied.
“No. We go in 20 minutes. Meet me on the tracks then”, Jonah quickly stated.
“Why? You scared you little baby”, one of Jessica’s friends quickly mouthed.
“No, I not scared. I just have something to do right now.” Jonah answered in his bravest voice tone.
“Ok! 20 minutes then” Jessica replied.
Jessica and her friends walked away and Jonah still stood in front of the elevator and immediately entered it the moment it opened again. What he had dreaded the most had happened he had booked a rematch with whom he dreads the most. It was because of her that he didn’t want to come to the resort now he was going to get beaten by her again, Oh! What a bad day.
In Jonah’s stressed state, Jonah stopped on a floor he’d never stopped on before. He stepped out the elevator, walked a little distance then rested his back against a wall to think and plan if there is a way he could get out of the predicament he had put himself in. He wasn’t going to lose to a girl again.
Ever since he could remember; men, boys and especially his father have said that a boy should never be beaten by a girl in sports or academics. That kind of constant teaching that had been pounded into the Jonah’s head made him feel depressed inside. It made him feel totally depressed and unworthy to call himself a man since he had been seriously beaten by a girl in sports.
While resting there he noticed that the control room was now empty as he watched the man who was sitting in it now walking out of sight.
Jonah sneaked into the control room. He had to choose a track neither him nor Jessica knew well, then he switched the signs on the digital sign posts along the track. He had seen it done many times in cartoons. A cartoon character points a sign post in the wrong direction so the completion can head in the wrong direction while they head in the right direction and win the race.
As Jonah started to sneaked back out of the control room he heard the Holy Spirit tell him that he should switch things back to the way they were that what he’s doing is wrong. But Jonah was stubborn; as far as he was concerned, listening to and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit meant he was forgoing an opportunity to win Jessica – forgoing an opportunity to not look like a total loser.
Jonah could feel the weight on his conscience that what he was doing was wrong but he still sneaked out of that control room without undoing what he did.
Unbeknownst to Jonah, when the man who had left the control room returned he switched things back to normal.
20 minutes later when they met for the rematch, Jonah choose the track that they were to run. Jessica didn’t mind, she was confident that she would do well on any track.
Before the race started Jonah saw a rare opportunity to tie Jessica’s shoe laces together without her knowing. I mean what are the odds. Jonah was really feeling good about himself. Another opportunity to cheat had dropped in his laps. Cheating would bring him the victory he’s always wanted.
Second’s before one of Jessica’s friends blew the whistle for them to start, Jonah had already set off. Jessica who started when she was supposed to start didn’t make it 3 seconds before she tripped over her tied shoe laces. So Jonah got what he wanted. He was ahead. Only that he didn’t know the track sign post had been switched back to normal so the place labelled the wrong place to go was no longer the right place to go. It was just the wrong place to go and that is where Jonah followed.
Jonah ended up getting lost and by evening when he had not yet returned his family started to look for him.
By nightfall they had organized a large search party to look for him.
Jonah was all alone in the dark. He was totally alone in the freezing cold or so he taught. He started hearing noises of different sorts around him and couldn’t find who or what was making the noises. It went on for like forever. It felt like a frightening creature would leap out from the dark at any moment and eat him up. Jonah was so scared. He could hear his heart beating like a drum with turbo charged drum sticks against his chest. It was like he was listening to the soundtrack of his own coming death. Although he could see no one he could feel the eyes of the unknown around – watching him. The strength of their glare made every inch of his skin crawl.
Then Jonah remembered to pray and so he started praying and crying to God for forgiveness for cheating.
Jonah heard the voice of the Holy Spirit some minutes after much tears had been shed. The Holy Spirit told him that it would be alright, that he shouldn’t cry anymore. He told him that there is nothing wrong with being beaten by a girl. That boys and girls are equal. There is no law in heaven that says men must do better than women in sports or academics. Men and women are created equal.
The Holy Spirit told Jonah not to mind those who’ve told him that a real man must outperform women. Even Jonah’s father who was a strong church goer had encouraged his Jonah to think such nonsense. But the Holy Spirit set Jonah’s mind straight on the subject. Jonah knew he wouldn’t have bothered so much had he been beaten by a boy but the fact that he was beaten by a girl has been what had caused all the dread and fear.
Jonah was later found by the search party and never again did he mind being beaten by a girl in sports or academics because he now knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that girls are just as filled with potentials as boys. We are equals.