Hannah was one of the sweetest young ladies you ever could meet. She was bright and smart, graduating the top of her class in college. Upon graduating, she took a job at a non-profit that specialized in helping impoverished families.

With her grades and newly minted credentials, she could have chosen a more lucrative career. Money, however, did not motivate Hannah. Her heart was warm and compassionate. She wanted to help those less fortunate than herself.

Hannah’s boss took a keen interest in her. At first she thought it was because of her ambition. He kept giving her more responsibility. But then he started to leave the office early. Some days he did not come in at all, leaving Hannah to do all the work.

At board meetings, Hannah’s boss took all the credit for her ideas. While Hannah worked for peanuts, her boss made over three times as much. Hannah’s boss was very good at convincing the board why they should pay him more. He was slick with his tongue, good at raising money and always made a good impression.

You can imagine how much all this bothered Hannah. Finally, she got the nerve to ask her boss why he left her to do all the work. His reply shocked her: “Just wait your turn, sweetheart. Keep up the good work and someday you can hire someone like you to do all the work while you enjoy the benefits. Hang in there; your day will come.”

Hannah needed to make a decision: stick to the reason she got into this line of work in the first place — to help people — or join the rat race of people in it for themselves instead of the people they claim to serve.

Most people come to a point in their life when they need to make a decision similar to the one Hannah needed to make. If you read the first half of Psalm 10, the Psalmist needed to make such a decision.

All around him, the wicked seemed to win, “(The wicked man’s) ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him… (10:5).” Yet, the Psalmist knew that, though the wicked win for a season, ultimately God would hold them accountable, “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand (10:14).”

What would you do if you were in Hannah’s shoes? As Jesus said, “…small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:14).”

The Rev. Michael A. Birbeck is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church Wellsboro. He can be reached at pastor@fpcwellsboro.org.

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