Griffin couldn’t be in two places at once.
“Hey man, you’re really good at that thing!”
Griffin scarcely dared look up from his guitar. He recognized that voice. It was Malcolm, head of the most feared gang on the west side of town. He was the kind of guy you’d better like if you had anything to do with him at all, because if you didn’t he would beat you up.
“Thanks,” he finally muttered, and looked up only to see the hulking form heading away down the hall.
Griffin shook his head in amazement. Can you beat that! Malcolm Young noticing my guitar playing! Griffin had been using every spare moment to practice the accompaniment for his sister Lilly’s song. They had to have it ready for the youth service coming up in just two days. But who would have thought Malcolm would notice the chords he was quietly strumming as he leaned against his locker?
The next day, during lunch hour in the cafeteria, Griffin had another surprise. Crossing the whole room, with everybody watching her, came Jessie.
Yes, the Jessie. Malcolm’s girl. She walked right up to the table where Griffin sat.
“Malcolm thinks you’re one of the best guitar players he’s ever heard,” she said. “He wants you to be lead guitar in his rock band. Practice is at eight tomorrow night at his house. Don’t be late! Malcolm has fits if anybody’s late.”
With that, she whirled around and left.
Everybody around Griffin looked as shocked as Griffin felt. “Wow, can we touch you, Griffin?” someone teased. “That’s something, Griffin,” another added. “Lead guitar in Malcolm Young’s band! I heard they’ve got a contract with one of the big labels. Maybe you’ll be rich!”
“But I’m not going to play in Malcolm’s rock band!” Griffin blurted out. “I don’t want to have anything to do with that kind of music or his group at all!”
“Well, you’d better be careful about shouting that kind of stuff around, Griffin,” warned one of the boys. “Not wanting to join Malcolm’s band would be an insult to him. Why, he’d beat you to a pulp! Now that he’s noticed you, you’re probably stuck whether you like it or not. You’ll be in real trouble if you don’t show for that practice.”
That evening at the dinner table, Griffin’s sister noticed that he wasn’t saying much. “Boy, you’re quiet tonight, Griffin. Thinking about playing guitar at meeting tomorrow?”
“I’m expected to play my guitar in two places tomorrow night,” Griffin replied, “at church, and for a professional rock band.”
“Rock band?” his mother exclaimed. “What are you talking about, Griffin?”
“Don’t worry, Mom, I have no intention of playing in it. I’ll be at church. But I may get beat up for it!”
“Maybe you’d better explain, Griffin, before your mother has a heart attack,” his father interjected.
While the rest of his family sat in silence, Griffin described what had happened at school. When he had finished, his dad nodded slowly. “Well, you’re facing quite a challenge, Son. But I think Proverbs 16:7 might help you.” He reached behind him and picked up a Bible. “Here, read it.”
“‘When a man’s ways please the Lord,’” Griffin read, “‘he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’”
Those words helped Griffin, but he was still nervous when he walked into the school two days later. He hadn’t “showed” for the practice last night at Malcolm’s, and for sure he wasn’t going to seek the guy out. But he figured Malcolm would get to him before the day was out. And he did.
Heading down the hall to get his jacket just after his last class, Griffin spotted Malcolm lounging against his locker. He gulped a little prayer as he headed toward the big figure. The crowd seemed to step back some as he approached. He didn’t know what to say, but he didn’t need to worry. Malcolm talked first.
“I understand you don’t want to play in my band, kid.”
“No, I don’t.” Griffin looked him squarely in the eye. “I’m a Christian and I’m pretty involved in music with my church. I don’t have time or interest in taking on anything else right now.”
A gasp went over the crowd that had gathered. Would Malcolm Young flatten Griffin on the spot?
But Malcolm just smiled a conceited smile. “Well, I certainly can’t use anybody in my band who doesn’t want to be in it.” And with that, he strolled off.
Griffin felt a sigh of relief come up clear from his toes.
Thank you, Lord! he breathed. You sure helped me through that one!