Joe said, "Yes."
Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve, would you do 10 push-ups so Joe can
Steve did 10 push-ups, Joe got a donut.
And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did 10 push-ups for every
before they got their donut.
And down the second aisle until Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott
on the basketball team and is in as good condition as Steve. He was
popular and never lacked for female companionship. When the professor
"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."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then,"
Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve,
you do 10 push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"
With perfect obedience Steve started to do 10 push-ups.
Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"
Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks,
these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it."
he put a donut on Scott's desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just
the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up
down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around
Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were
to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you
Sternly, Jenny said, "No."
Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve,
you do 10 more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't
Steve did 10, Jenny got a donut.
By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students
beginning to say, "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the
Steve also had to really 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
floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red
of the physical effort involved.
Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the
class, to watch Steve do each push-up to make sure he did the full 10
push-ups in a set, because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's
all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so
Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely. Dr. Christianson
down the fourth row.
During his class, however, some students from the other classes had
in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the
the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and
that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if
would be able to make it.
Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next.
the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was
lot more time to complete each set. Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I
to make my nose touch on each one?"
Dr. Christianson thought a moment. "Well, they're your push-ups. You
them any way you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.
A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room
was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO!
come in! Stay out!"
Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said,
let him come."
Dr, Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will
do 10 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
right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"
Jason, new to the room hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said,
me a donut."
"Steve, would you do 10 push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"
Steve did 10 push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason,
was handed a donut and sat down. Dr. Christianson finished the fourth
and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms
now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the
force of gravity. Sweat was profusely dripping off of his face and by
time there was no sound except his heavy breathing. There was not a
in the room.
The very last two students in the room were two young women, both
cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the
second-to-last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?"
Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."
Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do 10 push-ups
that Linda can have a donut that she doesn't want?"
Grunting from the effort, Steve did 10 very slow push-ups for Linda.
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
alone, 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.
decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade
Steve, here, is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else
failed a test, skipped a class, or offered me inferior work. Steve
that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups.
told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the
by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes. Steve,
you do 10 push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"
As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding
he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350
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, pled to the Father,
'Into Thy hands
commend my spirit.'
With the understanding that He had done everything
was required of Him,
he yielded up his life.......and like some of
this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."
Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically
exhausted, but wearing a thin smile. "Well done, good and faithful
said the professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."
Turning to his class the professor said, "My wish is that you might
understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that
been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus
who spared not only the Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all...
whole Church, now and forever."'