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Under Heaven
Copyright © 2001, 2003 - All rights retained by author
Written by: C. W. Booth and Jane E. Booth

(Based On and Taken From Ecclesiastes)

Cast of Characters:

JOHN, A man who strives after wind under the sun.
PETE, A man who is wise and tries to enjoy his work under heaven.
PREACHER, A preacher

2 Briefcases
2 desks
2 keyboards with mouse & mouse pads
2 picture frames
2 plants
2 coffee mugs
2 office chairs

(PREACHER stands stage center behind the pulpit, in a suit, with a large Bible. JOHN and PETE sit at desks on either side of the stage. JOHN and PETE never look at nor acknowledge the presence of the PREACHER.)

PREACHER (startlingly loud and with a sweeping arm gesture): Futility of futilities, Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

JOHN: What good does it do me to keep on working under the sun?

PETE: The same old stuff. But I suppose someone somewhere will be affected by the job I do today.

PREACHER (in normal voice, looking toward John): The sun rises and the sun sets, and hastening to its place it rises there again.

JOHN: It seems like every day is the same!

PREACHER: There is an appointed time for everything.

PETE: I’m sure something new will come up tomorrow to challenge me.

PREACHER (now looks toward Pete): That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.

JOHN: I do the same work, day after day!

PETE: The same work, so it seems, but we can never know what purpose God has in this.

PREACHER: There is nothing new under the sun.

PETE: Some days are darker than others.

JOHN: And what good does it do me? There’s so much wrong it can’t ever be straightened out, and there’s no end to what I need to do to fix this project! Maybe I can pass off some of this work to Pete and take an extra long lunch tomorrow. Wonder how fast I could get 9 holes in? Wonder what the weather’s gonna do? I’ll just take a look at the on-line weather site.

PREACHER: He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

PETE: This work load is way too much for one guy. But I can’t let this get to me. And I can’t be lazy. I don’t know how God is working in this. Maybe He’s just working on me!

PREACHER: I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.

JOHN: What is the point?? This is worthless! I think I’ll call home and we can go out and have some fun! Oh rats! Tonight is my son’s game, I suppose I’ll have to go to that, otherwise people will say I don’t care about him. Of course I care about him! Someday he’s going to inherit everything I’ve ever worked for all my life, and I hope he at least appreciates it! If he hasn’t been spoiled rotten by then, anyway! All my money and my house and my investments…I bet he’ll be happy then!

PREACHER (to John): Who knows if he will be a wise man or a fool?

JOHN: No, he’ll forget me, just like everyone else in the world…not even my bosses appreciate any of the work I’ve done for them. They’ll just hire some kid just out of college with absolutely no experience, and probably pay him twice as much! Oh, what’s the point!

PREACHER: What does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? Because all his days his task is painful and grievous, even at night his mind does not rest.

PETE: You know, even if the boss doesn’t appreciate me, if I do this work for God, he will reward me, if not now, then someday. And I’ve got to provide for my wife, and my kids. I’ve got to set them a good example, so that someday they will be wise, too. Then even if they turn after wicked ways, it won’t be my fault…I will have done what God has given me to do.

JOHN: All my life…under the sun…like a farmer in his field, day after day, never knowing if my crops are going to make it, never knowing what God is going to do or what God has done…

PETE: All my days…under heaven…serving Him, and doing good in my life, and seeing the good in my work even if it fails in man’s sight.

PREACHER: Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might.

JOHN: I kill myself, and what do I get in return?? I think I’ll go test ride that Harley again tonight. I’m sure not going to go straight home to my whining wife.

PETE: Well, God will have to reward me, because the boss sure won’t.

PREACHER: Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.

JOHN: Oh man…I got a stain on this tie, but who’s going to notice?

PETE: I’d better dress up a little, I think we’re going out tonight. Or is it Timmy’s game? Either way, I’d better look nice for my wife’s sake. I wonder what she’s making for dinner?

PREACHER: Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life.

JOHN: Maybe I should just quit.

PETE: I think I’ll go ask that guy in the next cubicle if he wants to do lunch tomorrow. He looks a little on edge. I wonder what he’s really thinking, he hides things so well.

PREACHER: Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

JOHN: What a rotten day. How much longer can I go on doing this? How does that guy in the next cubicle do it? My life seems so meaningless.

PREACHER: Under the sun, under your own sight, in the sight of man.

PETE: Well, it was a hard day, but I have to be wise here. I have to fear and obey God. However cliché that sounds, that’s when I know I am pleasing Him…when I do things for Him, when I think about things His way.

PREACHER: Under heaven, under God’s sight, in His eyes.

PETE: I can finish this tomorrow. (To JOHN) Hey, John, How’s it going? How’s your kid? Is this a picture of him?

JOHN: Yeah, that’s him. (Shows PETE the picture, and they go off stage together, miming talking, while the PREACHER finishes speaking.)

PREACHER: If a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, too…remember your Creator in the days of your youth. God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Now all has been heard, here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

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Under Heaven
Copyright©2001, 2003--all rights retained by author
Written by: C. W. Booth and Jane E. Booth

This work was adapted from an original work entitled:

Under Heaven
Copyright©2001, 2003--all rights retained by author
Written by: C. W. Booth and Jane E. Booth

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