Although both are conducting water surveys, Nate and Audra learn they are not identical.
by Laura Milner
Sermon: Reach In: It's About Us
Scripture Text : Acts 2:40-47; 6:1-6
NATE A young man, well groomed, dressed casually, pleasant demeanor. Asking mall shoppers to take a survey.
JUDY Middle aged woman, practical. A mall shopper.
AUDRA A young lady, also taking a survey. Well groomed, casually dressed, amiable.
SITUATION: NATE and AUDRA have surveys to conduct. NATE's subject is drinking water. AUDRA's subject is Living Water, more specifically the need for Bible Study. Where NATE's concern is physical health, AUDRA has a concern for the well-being of the spirit. Since both surveys mention "water," they initially believe that they are comparing responses to the exact same survey.
PROPS: 2 clipboards and 2 pencils for NATE and AUDRA
As LIGHTS come up, NATE stands with clipboard in hand, ready to ask a passerby, JUDY, to take his survey.
NATE [approaching JUDY] Excuse me, I'm Nate. Would you have a moment or two to answer a few questions about drinking water?
JUDY Oh, I guess so.
NATE Great! [refers to clipboard] Question one. On a scale of one to five, with one being "strongly disagree", two being "somewhat disagree", three being "neutral", four being "somewhat agree", and five being "strongly agree", where would you rate the following statement: "The human body needs water daily to function at its highest level."
JUDY Oh, absolutely! Five! Six! Ten! [good naturedly] I mean, we're made out of water, right?
NATE Right. So, "five". My next question has to do with how much water you drink daily. "On average, do you drink no water, one to two glasses, three to five glasses, six to eight glasses or more than eight glasses daily?"
JUDY Do you count coffee or tea?
NATE Just straight water.
JUDY [Winces, continues to speak, thinking aloud] One ... two ... [pauses] ... three, I guess.
NATE Three? So, "three to five glasses".
JUDY I should really drink more. We're supposed to drink what? Eight glasses a day, right?
NATE I believe that's right. This next question asks, "If you feel you should drink more water, which of the following answers describes best the reason you do not. Select all that are applicable:
A. Don't like the taste"
JUDY That one!
"B. Don't have access to drinking water
C. Don't experience a thirst mechanism
D. Just forget
JUDY I have to think. You know, I don't really get thirsty that much either.
NATE [marking answer] "C". Any other reasons?
JUDY Well, it's kind of boring.
NATE Boring? [writes]
JUDY Yes. If there's nothing else available, water's all right. But I'd rather have a soda. Especially with food. I mean, who orders "pizza and water," right?
NATE [Smiles and nods, nonjudgmental] Last question. "Yes or No. Do you believe you would experience better health if you increased your daily water intake?"
JUDY Yes. It would probably be a good example to set for my kids, too. And I know a couple friends that would probably notice a big difference if they drank water. You know, I used to drink it more when I played tennis. That was when I was on my school's team and I was on the run from six a.m. until eleven or twelve at night. Now, I'm out of steam by four o'clock in the afternoon. You know, I bet I'd feel better if I did drink more water.
NATE You might.
JUDY I guess I just got out of the habit.
NATE Well, good luck. Thanks for taking the survey. [JUDY nods and exits. AUDRA approaches NATE, clipboard in hand. BOTH speak simultaneously}
NATE and AUDRA [Together] Excuse me, would you have a moment- [BOTH pause, each wearing an inquisitive expression]
NATE [Holds up clipboard] Water?
AUDRA You're kidding! [holds up clipboard] Water!
NATE No way. What a coincidence. How many did you get?
AUDRA Eleven. But I've only been here since seven.
NATE [Counts pages] Nine.
AUDRA That's good, though. I thought I was the only one here. How's it going?
NATE Well, it's not too far off from what I expected. Almost everyone agrees that we really need it and that it's important.
AUDRA Same here. But I got a couple who strongly disagreed, I guess you might say.
NATE You're joking. You can't really live without it, can you?
AUDRA That's how I feel about it. But what really surprised me was that most people said it was really important, but then turned right around and said they get so little of it!
NATE It doesn't make sense. But I suppose I could do better, too.
AUDRA We all could. And the reasons they give are interesting too, don't you think?
NATE I got so many different ones. Oh, a couple were enthusiastic, but most of 'em said it was boring. [AUDRA nods, holding up clipboard] A lot of them hadn't had it in so long that they don't even get thirsty any more.
AUDRA I know! It's really bad. Their lives get so out of balance and they don't even realize what's missing. Some people I talked to had never had it.
NATE [Incredulous] Never?! Never had it?? Where were they from, Mars or something?
AUDRA One guy said he wasn't even going to try any more, because ... [checks clipboard] ... how did he put it? "There's so many kinds out there and they each say theirs is the best one, so I just don't mess with it any more.
NATE Wow. [shakes head] Wow. Some days, I only get two or three, but I always try for at least eight glasses.
AUDRA Eight?! [NATE nods] In one day?? Eight classes?
NATE [Nods] Wait. Did you say, "classes"?
AUDRA What did you say?
NATE "Glasses." [AUDRA looks puzzled] Glasses of water? [AUDRA takes NATE's clipboard and looks at it]
AUDRA I think you should take my survey. [NATE looks puzzled] On a scale of one to five with one being "strongly disagree"-
NATE And five being "strongly agree," right?
AUDRA Right. "Please rate the following statement: Just as the physical body requires water to survive, the spirit needs the Living Water found in God's Word.
NATE Living Water! Oh, I get it.
AUDRA But do you agree?
NATE [Not too hastily] Yes. Yes, I do. [pauses] Number "five".
AUDRA All right. Next question. "Yes or no. Do you dedicate a portion of each day to Scripture study, whether alone or with others?"
NATE [Winces] No.
AUDRA Okay. The next question asks, "If you feel that you do not get enough contact with Bible based study, which of the following answers best describes the reason you do not:
A. Don't have time
B. Find material too difficult to understand
C. Can't find a convenient Bible study group
NATE It's really a case of "all of the above."
AUDRA [Writing] I get that a lot. Really! But that's all right. Are there any other reasons that you can think of that prevent you from studying?
NATE [Laughs] I don't know if I should say this.
AUDRA No, it's okay. I want to know.
NATE In school, a bunch of kids used to miss out on movies and parties and games on a certain night because they had church.
AUDRA And what? [good naturedly] They were what? Boring?
NATE Oh, no! A couple of them were my best friends. We went everywhere together - almost everywhere. They actually helped me through some tough times. [suddenly sober] Wish they were still around here. They always seemed to be able to roll with the punches.
AUDRA [Smiles and nods] Well, [offers hand to shake, NATE accepts] thanks for taking my survey.
NATE Oh! [a bit disappointed] Is that it?
AUDRA [Thoughtfully] Well, I do have a couple extra questions. But they're not on the survey. You ready to take a break?
NATE Want to go grab a cup of ...
NATE and AUDRA [Catching each other's eyes, they speak together] Water?? [BOTH smile and nod, cross toward exit]
AUDRA [Amiably] Well, you know, there are just so many kinds out there. I don't know if I want to mess with it any more. [BOTH laugh and exit]
LIGHTS fade to black.