Writing Exercise 3 – Tone

Prompt: Rewrite the following story as it might be told in the style of any of the following four people: a stand-up comedian, a prime-time reporter, an evangelical minister, or a gangster rapper.

A string decided to look for trouble, friends. Yes, this string didn’t have enough drama in his life. (Make no mistake. Boredom is the Devil’s tool.) This string took himself down to the local bar, sauntered up to the nearest empty stool, and had himself a seat. He took a seat in this den of iniquity because he was looking for something we all want in our lives, a little companionship, some entertainment maybe, but most of all a change of pace. How many of us have been there, friends? How many of us make bad decisions just because we’re itching to make decision?

So this string sat on his stool, and it took him some time to get the bartender’s attention. It’s hard to get noticed when you’re a string. Aren’t we all that way, too? It used to be you were doing good in your life just to have a vocation or calling, keep your head down, and do your work. But these days, these days everyone wants to feel special, special just for showing up. We know better! God tells us we’re not special. We’re not something without the love and forgiveness of His son, Jesus Christ! Can I get an, “Amen?” That’s right. Amen, brothers and sisters! Amen.

Well, the bartender, he didn’t cotton much to string types hanging out in his bar, and he had no problem setting that string straight. He told him in no uncertain terms, without a shred of ambiguity, that he wasn’t welcome there. You know, God, God is always on His toes looking out for us. And He doesn’t just use His knowing servants like yours truly to give us messages, no. No, sometimes God uses the very sinners we surround ourselves with to try to keep us out of trouble. “No. No, String, go home. We don’t serve your kind here.” Was the string grateful for this timely intervention? Did he rethink his iniquitous thoughts and head home to contemplate the error of his ways in prayer?

What do you think? Would you? Would most of us? No! Of course not! By golly, we’re there for a drink, and we’re not leaving until we get one. Isn’t that the way of sin? It’s a bottomless appetite. Once you start feeding that hunger, it’s not going to be sated with just a seat at the table. It’s going to want a bite!

So that string waited until the bartender turned his back and slipped off into the restroom instead of out the door. (Bartenders may have blind spots. God never does. Think about that.) He tied his head in a knot. Oh, friends. Oh, friends, that is the epitome of what sin does to us in the end. It ties our heads in knots.

This string tied his head in a knot, unraveled the very fiber of his being to make himself look like something he wasn’t, and walked right back out to have a seat at the bar. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard this joke a hundred different times, and you’re thinking, Pastor Robinson, this is just silly. It’s just a silly joke that has nothing to do with sin.

But doesn’t it? That bartender comes back, and he squints at our friend the string, and that astute bartender asks, “Say, aren’t you that string who was just in here?”

And that string, that misguided, sinful string says, “Nossir. Nossir.  I’m a frayed knot.” He’s a frayed knot. A frayed knot is exactly what we become when we give in to sin, brothers and sisters. We’re tied in knots, and our lives are in shambles! Don’t be like our stubborn friend the string. We all make mistakes. Of course we do, but God, He tries a hundred different ways to tell us no if we’ll only listen. Think about that the next time someone tells you no. Listen to God, or I’m afraid you’ll always be a frayed knot. Amen!

Please follow me:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *