A children's story with a Christian theme
|Part 8 - Moment of truth
The crowd held its breath as Chip's shot flew towards the goal. Oh no! The ball slammed against the post and came back into play. One of the Hillcroft players got to it first and booted it out of danger. The referee blew for full time.
The Hillcroft team celebrated while Keliston's players sank to their knees. Chip felt so disappointed - he had been so close to being a hero, but instead he was a loser. He remembered with horror the soft goal he had let in moments earlier.
His sister Cherry, Aunty Ann and others from the Salvation Army came on to the field to console him.
"Sorry sir," said Chip to Mr Beckham, the coach, who had strolled up.
Mr Beckham seemed to take an age to reply and when he did he was interrupted by Hillcroft's sportsmaster.
"Bad luck, Becks," he said, "but you can be proud of this lad - he's a sport!" He was referring to the fact that Chip had been honest enough to admit the ball had crossed the line for Hillcroft's winner.
Then the referee came up to Chip and shook his hand. "I only wish that last minute shot had gone in. Honest players are rare these days. You deserved better."
A few moments later, Keliston's headmaster, Mr Fairbrother arrived. He patted Chip on the back. "Cheer up, Chip, the school's proud of you."
So Chip and the Keliston school team discovered that day that winning isn't everything.
As they walked home that evening, Chip and Cherry were surprised to bump into Grub - the boy they tried to talk to earlier but who wouldn't listen. He'd been at the match.
"Why did you say the ball was over the line?" he asked.
"Because it was," replied Chip.
"No one knew except you. You could have said it wasn't."
"Yes, but I couldn't have lived with it," said Chip. "You know I'm a Christian and a junior soldier with the Salvation Army - I try to tell the truth always."
"Even when it costs you?" asked Grub.
"Yes," said Chip.
Grub was quiet for a while before confessing, "I've told so many lies I can't count them."
Chip and Cherry sensed that some of the things they had shared with Grub had got through to him after all. It seemed he was finally ready to listen and learn about their special forgiving friend Jesus - the way the truth and the life. They sat and chatted.