His friends pedalled as fast as they could, attempting to match Nathan’s speed on their own bikes.
“Please, Nathan,” Max shouted breathlessly. “Just stop for a second! We need to talk to you.”
Nathan was the fastest rider in his group of friends. He knew they could never catch him or make him stop. But there was something anxious in Max’s voice. Nathan grabbed the back break ferociously and started a skid. Then, applying the front break carefully and lifting his weight off the back tire, Nathan spun his bike in a 180 and stopped in a cloud of dust facing his pursuers.
The two friends grabbed their brakes in a panic and managed to stop before smashing into Nathan. He fixed them with an angry stare, “What?” he said gruffly. “Don’t expect me to change my mind!”
Max stood astride his bike, and spread his hands in a wide-open gesture. “Come-on Nath! Just do it.”
“No!” Nathan growled, crossing his arms across his bare muscled chest.
The other friend, Garth, spoke, “It’s too easy, isn’t it?”
“What?” Nathan replied. “What does ‘easy’ have to do with it?”
“Well,” Garth continued, “if Old-Eli had asked you to do something hard, you would have taken the challenge. Right?”
Nathan thought about that for a moment. “Hmmmm…” A smile crossed his face, “Yes. I probably would have.”
Max took over, “But what if it works?”
“How can it work?” Nathan demanded. “I have these stupid blackberry cuts and scratches all over my legs.” He turned and looked at the dirty river they had been riding their bikes along. “How can that dirty river make the cuts go away?”
“We don’t know!” Garth said.
“But what if it works?” Max asked again.
“It won’t!” Nathan said angrily. “I went to see Old-Eli because he knows God and about nature and stuff. I thought he would make some magic potion to rub on my cuts to make them stop itching and heal quickly.”
“But he didn’t,” Garth stated. “He said to wash in the river and you would be healed.”
“It’s just dumb!” Nathan blurted.
“But what if it works?” Max and Garth chanted in unison.
Nathan examined the water again, staring at the slow moving stream.
“You need to stop being so obstinate,” Max said pleadingly.
“Yeah,” Garth said, looking down at Nathan’s cut-up legs. “Just humble out a bit!”
Nathan hadn’t thought about it like that before. Was he being prideful? Was he missing out on his own healing because he was arrogant?
“Well,” Nathan said, leaning his bike against a tree, “I guess it won’t hurt to try.” Slowly Nathan walked into the murky water. Seven times he dunked himself in the river.
When he walked out of the water, to everyone’s amazement, his legs were perfect—not a scratch or cut to be found.
All three friends shouted as one, “IT WORKED!”
“Let’s go back and thank Old-Eli,” Nathan said as he got back on his bike. “He really knows what he’s talking about!”