What would God want me to do?

“Now, cherubs, before we hear about Moses and the Egyptians, do any of you have any questions about what we spoke about last Sunday?”
“No, Miss Thompson,” chorused the class. At least, most of the class. A young boy raised his hand. He was new. It was only his second week in Sunday School. What was his name? Tom? Tim?

“Tristan? Do you have a question?”

“Yes,” he said, dropping his hand. “I’ve been thinking about what you said last time.”

“Really? Wonderful.” And Miss Thompson really did think it wonderful. What a delightful change for one of her class to ask a question. What a wonderful validation of all those Sundays she happily sacrificed for these innocent ones. “What is your question, Tristan?”

“You said that God wanted us to do what we’re told, right?”

“What He tells us to do, yes.”

“And so that’s why Abraham was going to stab his son.”

“Well, God was never going to actually let him do that, but yes.”

“And what’s-his-name, his son, he let his dad tie him up and stuff, because God wants us to do what Mum and Dad tell us, right?”

“Yes. Isaac was a very obedient and dutiful son.”

“Okay, so I have a question. What if your Dad told you not to do what God said? I mean, if you’re meant to do what Mum and Dad says, and you’re meant to do what God says, and they’re two different things?”

“I’m sure your parents don’t do that, Tristan, do they?” Miss Thompson frowned. Was this some clue to something dark and hidden in the poor child’s home life?

“No, but if they did. I mean, if your dad was a serial killer or something, and he ordered you to chop someone’s head off? I mean, God said don’t kill, right? So if God tells you to do something and your Dad tells you to do something else, like chop someone’s head off, and God says you have to do what your Dad says, what do you do?”

“I hardly think that’s likely, Tristan.”

“But what if he’s turned into a zombie, and you have to kill someone or he’ll eat your brains?”

“Now you’re just being silly, Tristan. There are no such things as zombies.”

“Okay, but what if he’s a serial killer? There are serial killers, Miss, and if they’re dads, they might want to train you up to take over when the police gun them down, Miss.”

“I’m sure your parents never ask you to disobey God, Tristan.”

“No, but what if they did?”

“Well, in that case, if they did, and I’m sure they never will, but if they did, then God’s law is always the final authority. So if your parents said something like, oh, I don’t know, something like, ‘Go steal something from the supermarket,’ then the right thing to do would be to say no. Sometimes we have to make a stand for what is right. And do you know who else made a stand for what is right?” she added, trying to steer the conversation back on topic. Tristan’s hand shot up.


“But what if your dad’s got a knife, and he says, ‘Chop off that person’s head, or I’ll kill you,’ what then, Miss? I mean, if he’s going to kill you if you don’t do what he says. What then?”

“You should always do the right thing, Tristan, no matter what the cost. Sometimes you have to be brave, just like Moses was in the story I’m going to tell you.”

“So,” said Tristan, frowning, “if the bible says do one thing, and people say do another, you should do what the bible says?”

Miss Thompson smiled. “Exactly, Tristan. If ever you are in doubt, look to the bible and it will tell you what to do.”

“Like when it says don’t work on Sunday, Miss, even though the supermarket is open?”

“Exactly like that,” said Miss Thompson, who had campaigned hard when the local supermarket announced plans to open on the Sabbath. It had been fruitless, but they had lost her custom, and served them right.

“So if the bible says don’t work on Sundays, but your dad says you have to tidy your room on Sunday afternoons, even if it’s nice out and your friends want you to go out and play, you’ve got to take a stand for what is right and tell him you’re not going to tidy your room?”

“Well, I’m not sure that’s exactly what God had in mind when he wrote the Ten Commandments.”

“But tidying your room is work, Miss. Mum says it’s ten times the work tidying my room as anyone else’s.”

“Yes, but I think what God actually meant was paid employment, Tristan.”

“But it is, Miss. Dad says I won’t get my allowance if I don’t tidy my room, but I can’t do it if it’s Sunday, not if God says not to.”

“I’m sure God did not mean for you not to tidy your room, Tristan. I’m sure that’s not what He meant when he said to keep the Sabbath holy.”

“But it doesn’t say, ‘Don’t do any work on Sunday, unless your dad tells you to clean your room,’ though, Miss.”

“Be that as it may, we’re going to have to move on now, because we’ve got a wonderful story all about a brave man called Moses who stood up to a king. Not now, Tristan. Everyone wants to hear the story of Moses.” Miss Thompson pressed on, despite the hand waving from the back of the class. “Now, Moses was born a slave, but a princess found him and adopted him. Do you know what ‘adopted’ means?” At the back of the class Tristan’s hand shot up again. Miss Thompson tried to ignore it. “Anyone know?”

“Miss, Miss, I know,” said Tristan, raising his hand so high it was almost pulling him off his seat.

Miss Thompson fixed a smile onto her face.


“It’s when your parents give you away to someone else.”

“That’s right,” said Miss Thompson, relieved.

“My dad says he’s going to get me adopted, if he can find anyone who’ll take me.”

“Really?” There was a manic edge to Miss Thompson’s smile now. “Has he considered Egypt?”


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

2 Responses to What would God want me to do?

  1. Claudia says:

    Mmm. I wonder if this story is an autobiography…

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