"The commitment is for six months." Jacob Durand gripped the arms of the green leather chair. Dread slithered through him and settled in the pit of his stomach. "Six months!You want me to go to Washington State for six months?" Leland Campbell steepled his graceful hands on the expansive oak desk. His lined face took on a settled expression and his dark eyes assessed Jacob. "Yes, I do." As a boy, Jacob had squirmed beneath that intense stare, but now he sat straighter and met it head-on. "I thought we had this all worked out. I'd come on board here as a junior associate pastor." "I've been praying about that. You know I would love to have you on staff at Shepherd's Way. But I need you to do this for me first." Leland sat back, and the black leather captain's chair silently moved with him. "I received a call from my brother Ben a few days ago. Actually, on the day of your graduation from seminary. It seems the pastor of their community church has gone home to be with the Lord. They are in need of an interim pastor until a permanent replacement can be secured. I want you to go." Jacob recognized the expression on his grand-father's face. Pastor Leland Campbell had made up his mind, and nothing would make him budge. All of Jacob's plans skittered away. Disappointment oozed through his veins. Through four years of college, two years of grad school and three years of seminary, he'd looked forward to finally working and learning from his grandfather. He glommed on to the first excuse that came to mind. "I'm not ready to pastor a church on my own." "Nonsense. And I doubt you'll be there for the whole six months. I'm sure a permanent replacement will be found sooner than that." Mentally scrambling, Jacob asked, "What will the associate pastors of that church think, having someone so young and inexperienced assigned to lead their church?" "You will gain experience, Jacob. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks." Jacob stared at the full bookcases behind his grandfather. His heart raced as he examined the thought of leading a small community church. Terrifying, thrilling. A perfect opportunity to prove to his grandfather, to his father--and to himself--that he was ready to be up front. This just might be a good thing. It would certainly accelerate his plans. Readjust and forge ahead. His plans lined up again. "All right. I'll go." The pleasure in his grandfather's expression made Jacob determined to do a good job. Leland Campbell had been Jacob's hero since he was a child. Jacob wanted to be just like his grandfather, much to his father's criticism. It wasn't so much that William Durand had disapproved of the church or his father-in-law. He'd wanted his only son to follow inhisfootsteps, to take over the successful business he'd started before Jacob was born. That wasn't Jacob's dream, and the opposing goals between father and son created tension in the relationship. Jacob rose to leave, his mind whirling with all the details that he'd need to take care of before heading north. His grandfather came around the desk and put a hand on his shoulder. "Remember, Jacob. Don't put God in a box. He can do more than you can imagine." Three days later, Jacob stared at the cedar-sided box of a structure that housed Hope Community Church in the small Pacific Northwest town of Hope, Washington. Majestic cedars provided shade for the lush green lawn and meticulous flower beds. A far cry from the state-of-the-art world of Shepherd's Way located in the heart of the marina district in San Francisco. With a sigh of resignation and a reminder to himself that his time in Hope was a means to an end, Jacob climbed from his SUV and headed up the walkway. He took a moment to absorb the outdoors. Fresh April air filled his lungs, revitalizing in its crispness. The only sound he heard was a distant bird. A calm peacefulness filled his soul. He openedReed, Terri is the author of 'Time of Hope ', published 2006 under ISBN 9780373874002 and ISBN 0373874006.