Do You Want A Donut

There was a certain professor of theology named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western U.S. Dr. Christianson taught the survey course in Christianity, which was a requirement of every freshman regardless of major. Although Dr. Christianson tried to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his efforts, most students refused to take the gospel seriously.

One year Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshmen, but was studying with the intent of going on to seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, smart, and athletic. Although only a freshman, Steve was the starting center on the football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do two hundred every night."

"Two hundred! That's pretty good, Steve." Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could? again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of ten? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it?

I need you to tell me if you can," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well, I think I can. . . . yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind..."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. They were the extra fancy big kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Cynthia can have a donut?"

Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.

Then Steve sat again at his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next in line, and asked,"Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said yes, so Dr. Christianson asked Steve to do ten push-ups so that Joe could have a donut. Steve did ten, and Joe got a donut.

And so it went down the first aisle. Steve did ten push-ups for every person so that each could have a donut. And down the second aisle, till Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, was in excellent condition, and also was very popular. The professor asked, "Scott, do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Scott said, "Then I don't want one."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Scott can have a donut he doesn't want? With perfect obedience, Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "Hey! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts, a free gift for you. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it."

And he put a donut on Scott's desk. Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a bit. He stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to get up and down. You could see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christian asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No!"

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut she doesn't want?" Steve did ten and Jenny got a donut.

By now a sense of uneasiness filled the room. Students were beginning to say no and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve had to put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut.

There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face; his arms and brow were getting red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to be sure and watch Steve do each push-up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because Dr. Christianson couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all those

uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so that he could count the set and watch Steve closely. Dr. Christianson started down the third row.

During the class, however, students from other classes had wandered in and were now sitting down on the steps that ran along the sides of the room. When the professor saw this, he did a quick count and saw that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve could do it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person, and the next, and the next.

Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to touch my nose to the floor on each one?"

Dr. Christian thought for a moment. "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do this any way you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students started to yell, "No! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve. I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason was handed a donut and sat down. Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row and started on the visitors sitting on the step. Steve's arms were shaking from the effort of each push-up. Sweat was dripping off his face and by this time there was no sound except his heavy breathing. There was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last students in the room were two young women, both popular cheerleaders. Dr. Christian went to Linda and asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it himself. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.

When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, or skipped a class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes. Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Susan can have a donut?"

When Steve finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor. Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, prayed to the Father, 'Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that he had done everything that was required of him, he yielded up his life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve off the floor and into a seat, physically exhausted but wearing a thin smile. "Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor. "Then he added, "Not all sermons are preached with words." Turning to the class he said, "My wish is that you might understand all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God the Father spared not his only begotten Son, but gave him up for us all."

bible John 15