Clara had just returned from school, tired and sweaty in her not too sophisticated dress. It has really been a lousy and exhausting day for her. She’s been going through a lot lately. She lost her dad to a deadly illness two years ago and her mum is only a petty trader with little income to fend for the family needs.
What got Clara so tired and worn out couldn’t be far-fetched, it wasn’t the fact that she couldn’t afford herself a well-balanced meal daily nor nice outfits; but the unreasonable money she had to pay each day at school sucks.
“We pay for every damn thing in that department! I wonder if we are being charged for treading the floor or using the desk in their lecture halls!” Clara exhaled.
“I have project fee to pay, hostel rent to renew and borrowed money to repay.” All these and a million thoughts were all she had before retiring to bed. “Sleep is good in the face of anxiety. One would totally forget ones worries”, her friend Titi often says
A new day always comes with a new hope. So it was for Clara on the following day which was a Sunday. On getting to church that morning, Clara got great news that got her beaming with smile all day.
The annual international quiz competition for her church, God’s Palace International Church (GPIC), would be held in two weeks’ and the winner would be awarded a sum of money just enough to cater for all her needs.
Although she hasn’t participated in the quiz in previous years, she was determined to participate and win the prize as she badly needed money for all the bills she’s got to foot.
Unfortunately, no one ever partook in the annual international quiz from her local parish, Christ’s Love Parish, GPIC, neither was anyone experienced enough to put her through.
Clara became so worried and sad; however, she decided to approach one of the teachers from God’s Mercy Parish, GPIC, a parish higher than hers in rank, who were training students willing to represent the parish in the competition.
The teacher, Deacon Jonah had no idea Clara wasn’t from his own parish, neither did Clara know it was against the rule of the church to leave one’s parish and represent another in the competition. He agreed to train Clara with other interested bible students and of course that was the best news ever to Clara – I am going to put in my best. She promised the teacher.
Clara topped all other students in the training class and she was chosen to represent the parish, God’s Mercy Parish, GPIC.
Various teachers from the several parishes of GPIC were in attendance that day; some came to witness the competition, some followed their contestants while some were among the judges and moderators for the competition.
Clara’s teacher from Christ’s Love Parish, GPIC was also present and when he saw Clara, he assumed she had come to represent his parish. To his utmost surprise, Clara told him she had come to represent another parish whose training she had partook in preparation for the quiz.
Clara’s teacher was very annoyed and wouldn’t let her participate in the competition if she was not going to stand for her parish.
“Why will you cajole our student in representing your parish?” He questioned Deacon Jonah.
“She came to join our prep class! Would I have let her go having spied on us?” Deacon Jonah answered.
Clara became troubled and restless. Who’s to blame? She hadn’t bargained for a fight, not even in the body of Christ.
“Lord, I don’t want to be disqualified from this competition, please help me. Come and intervene Lord. And let me win this Lord” she silently prayed.
Clara appealed to her teacher and promised to explain everything to him later. Luckily for her, she was allowed to participate in the quiz as the moderators asked them to either opt out or settle the rift amicably among themselves.
Clara emerged the winner among the fifty-two chapters represented. The trophy won was taken to the mother church which she represented and Clara was given the money as promised.
Although not everyone was pleased with what Clara did, she even overheard some of her parish members calling her a greedy person and a liar.
What confused her was the fact that no one really understood the reason for her actions.
“How come no one saw my dire need for money?”
“I wouldn’t have won anything if no one had trained me after all, so why the fuse?” Clara said dejectedly.
“If indeed what I did was a crime, why had God allowed me, among all other participants, emerge first?”