By Annette Wetherbee
On the journey to heaven, the members of the church travel together - even through the rough spots. Echoes of Pilgrim's Progress.
TRAIL BLAZER - The leader, who has taken a side road into pride.
FOLLOWER - A person who has let anger and resentment vent itself by complaining and being critical.
SCOUT - The navigator, who checks the map and keeps the peace.
Bible with the word MAP on it, canteen, possibly other camping gear to give the impression of going on a long hike (back packs, hiking boots, etc.)
(Stage is empty. Can hear the group from a distance as they enter down the aisle. TRAIL BLAZER comes marching, in with FOLLOWER and SCOUT way behind.)
TRAIL: (Singing with enthusiasm.) We're marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion. We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God! (Finishes down center. Looks behind for his troops.) Come on you two, you've got to keep up. You're lagging too far behind!
FOLLOWER: (Arrives down center stage panting and fanning self.) Can't we stop and rest? I'm exhausted!
TRAIL: If you'd keep in better shape, you wouldn't have a problem.
SCOUT: That's not fair. Remember, she hasn't been on the trail as long as you have. ?
FOLLOWER: Yeah! I'm doing my best. Not everyone was born in these woods, you know.
TRAIL: I guess. Why don't you both rest while I look around?
(TRAIL BLAZER exits stage right. FOLLOWER takes off back pack and stretches. SCOUT takes out map and with a concerned look checks position.)
FOLLOWER: Finally! Some peace and quiet.
SCOUT: (Looks up from map.) What do you mean by that?
FOLLOWER: One more hymn and I'll scream!
SCOUT: I thought they were uplifting.
FOLLOWER: Please! They're so old. Nobody likes to sing them anymore.
SCOUT: I do.
FOLLOWER: To each his own, I guess.
SCOUT: (Puts map away.) Did you have something else in mind?
FOLLOWER: As a matter of fact I do. (Pause.) It doesn't matter.
SCOUT: Why not?
FOLLOWER: He'd never listen.
SCOUT: That's not a fair thing to say, especially since you haven't spoken to him..
(TRAIL BLAZER enters stage right, but not yet noticed by FOLLOWER.)
FOLLOWER: He wouldn't listen. His pride wouldn't let him. He won't even admit we're lost.
TRAIL: We are NOT lost!
FOLLOWER: Oh, look who was able to find his way back. Such a surprise.
TRAIL: You are so ungrateful.
SCOUT: Don't start fighting again.
FOLLOWER: Don't blame me. She's the one with the sarcastic mouth.
FOLLOWER: He got 'is itty bitty feelings hurt. Now it will be twice as painful to admit WE'RE LOST.
TRAIL: We are not lost! (To SCOUT.) I've had just about enough of her attitude.
FOLLOWER: So what are you going to do about it? Leave me behind?
TRAIL: (To FOLLOWER.) Don't tempt me.
FOLLOWER: Like it would matter. I'd be just fine on my own. Just give me my own map.
TRAIL: You would be helpless without me to guide you. Even if you had a map, you wouldn't know what to do with it.
FOLLOWER: Yeah, if you're such a great leader, why are we lost?
TRAIL: For the last time, we are not lost!!!!
SCOUT: (Steps between FOLLOWER and TRAIL.) Enough! (Arguing stops as both step back with a look of surprise.) Your arguing is driving me crazy. There are a lot of other travelers on this expedition that are truly lost and need to be shown the way. It's up to us to be there for them. We have to work together. Not tear each other a part.
TRAIL: (Pointing.) Tell that to her.
SCOUT: I'm telling the both of you. (To FOLLOWER.) You've done nothing but complain since you stopped and took a long drink at the well of malice and spite.
FOLLOWER: I have not.
SCOUT: (Gentle but firm.) Yes, you have. I realize you feel like you don't really matter, or that you don't have a voice, but you're letting your anger eat at you. (To TRAIL BLAZER.) And you, of all people. Yes, you are the leader, but you've been taking a side road called pride, which has made it difficult for anyone to follow you. Unless it comes directly from you, it's treated as wrong. Unless I'm mistaken, that's not how the map reads.
TRAIL: Don't be telling me how the map reads. We're going in the right direction and we'd be further along if we didn't have to drag around the extra weight. (Points to FOLLOWER.)
SCOUT: According to the map?
SCOUT: Why don't you check it.
TRAIL: Just to prove my point, I will. (Searches back pack and realize map is missing. Becomes frantic. Searches pockets, ground, etc.) It's gone!
SCOUT: (Pulls out map.) No, it's not. (Hands to TRAIL BLAZER.) You left it behind during that detour I told you about. I figured you would eventually need it, so I picked it up.
TRAIL: (Snatches map.) Why didn't you tell me sooner? (Opens map and checks position.)
SCOUT: (Gently.) You didn't give me a chance.
TRAIL: (Looks up from map, ashamed.) Wow. I guess your right. (Points to map.) I took a major detour into pride. I'm sorry. (To FOLLOWER.) And I'm sorry to you, too. I haven't been listening very well. (Pause.) I would like to hear your ideas on new music.
FOLLOWER: (Still hurt, bitter.) For someone who doesn't listen very well, you sure hear a lot!
TRAIL: (Back to disgusted.) There she goes again.
SCOUT: Wait. What exactly do you want? He apologized. He's willing to try again. What more do you want?
FOLLOWER: How about groveling?
SCOUT: You want to humiliate him? Is that what you've been taught how the map reads?
FOLLOWER: Well, no.
SCOUT: And is that how you would want to be treated?
TRAIL: (Steps in to help.) I know you've been tired and I wouldn't slow down. (Pulls out canteen.) Here is a drink of living water that will truly refresh you. Please, take it. (Gives to FOLLOWER.)
FOLLOWER: (Takes canteen. Looks up and smiles.) Thank you. You're right. I've been tired. But I've also used it as an excuse to be angry and mean. I'm sorry, too.
TRAIL: That's okay.
SCOUT: So can we go now?
FOLLOWER: (Had a long drink from canteen.) I'm ready.
TRAIL: (Holds up map. ) Me, too!
SCOUT: Great! Let's head out. There's a lot of work to do.
(Exit with whole group singing We're Marching on to Zion or other older hymn. If they can sing off key, it would add a fun touch. )
Copyright Annette Wetherbee, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entry. In return the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org