Thursday, September 19, 2002

If my memory serves me right, this is an incident that happened when I was in 10th. I studied in a Christian residential school and every Wednesday night all the students would assemble for one hour of group games. On one such night our pastor huddled a group of us together in a huge hall and said this game would teach us about getting our priorites straight in life (maybe because he sensed that us teenagers had no priorities at all).

He asked any one of us to volunteer. A pretty girl, a year younger to me, stepped forward. The pastor had a large dark blanket in his hand. He led her to the center of the hall and asked her to sit down. After she had squatted on the floor he spread the blanket on top of her so that it covered her fully. The rest of us encircled her to watch the pastors' game.

At this point the pastor told her: "Imagine that you are in the middle of a large desert and you are all alone. You have to travel a long distance to find the nearest civilisation. Hence you will have to travel light. So remove one thing that you don't need and give it to me. Don't lift the blanket, but just slip it out slowly".

The girl under the blanket thought for a while and we could see that under the blanket she was taking something off to give away to the pastor. The first thing she slipped something from under the blanket was the sweater. The pastor nodded and said that it was a reasonably good choice but not the best choice. So he asked her to give another thing. A bit more ruffling under the blanket and this time she slipped her woolen cap. Still not the best choice and pastor asked her to give one more thing. And so this went on until, the girl kept giving all that she had - shoes, socks, scarf, ear-rings, watch etc. She finally reached a point when all she had under the blanket was her bare clothes.

The next time the pastor asked her, there was a long wait, and finally her t-shirt came out under the blanket (obviously all the boys were whistling - but none could see because the blanket fully covered her). Pastor sighed and said give me one more thing. Another long wait, and this time her jeans slipped out. Another round of whistles from guys. Then her undergarments came out. And boys were making all sorts of ludicrous comments and the rest of our girl classmates were quite shocked. Since she didn't have anything left the pastor slipped all her stuff under the blanket and asked her to dress up.

"Did anyone learn anything from this game?" the pastor asked all of us. Everyone was quite stunned to respond. After a while the pastor said "This girl was sitting under a blanket in a large desert. I asked her to remove one thing that she didn't need. I think any prudent person, who has got his priorities right, will remove the blanket first."


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