George Under Pressure

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#285: “George Under Pressure”
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22: The Changing Times
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Colossians 1:9-13

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

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George Under Pressure

“George Under Pressure” is episode #285 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on October 8, 1994.


Because George Barclay's demanding schedule is exhausting him, Jimmy and Donna are determined to make sure he takes a day off.


George is in the thick of his seminary studies — so engrossed that he falls asleep right at the dinner table. His studies and the demands on his life are taking him away from his family, and severely straining their finances. All of this is putting tremendous pressure on George. So Jimmy, Donna and Mary Barclay decide to force George to relax by kidnapping him and taking him on a picnic. Unfortunately, the afternoon is a disaster — one of the worst afternoons they’ve ever spent together.

Later, George complains to Jack Allen. Jack tells George that he and his family are not alone. Jack says every book he’s ever read about great preachers describes the same pressures. It’s just God’s way of preparing all of them for the ministry. George says that all sounds good, but he can’t believe God would want him to destroy his family by pursuing his ministry dream.

George goes home and tells the family he’s given up on the idea of being a minister. Mary, Donna and Jimmy mean too much to him — he doesn’t want to see them suffer anymore. But they’ve had a meeting of their own and have come to the opposite conclusion. The Barclays all realize they need to rally more around George. They must lift him up in prayer and support him. God almost immediately blesses that decision, for George is offered a position as an interim pastor at the local church. With God’s help, things look like they’ll work out after all.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think it is so hard for George to get through seminary?
  2. Should the family have taken George away from his studies? Should George have tried to enjoy the afternoon? Explain.
  3. How has God taken care of you and your family lately?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
George Barclay Chuck Bolte
Mary Barclay Carol Bilger
Donna Barclay Azure Janosky
Jimmy Barclay David Griffin
Jack Allen Alan Young

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Tom Riley George Barclay
Fred Holstein Jimmy Barclay
Bart Rathbone Jimmy Barclay
Mrs. Erskine Mary Barclay
Stewart Reed Barclay George Barclay


  • It is interesting that this episode is introduced by Tom Riley, since he doesn't appear in the episode. Usually Whit is the only character to introduce episodes he does not appear in. Tom is, however, described as operating behind the scenes during the episode and has a few "silent" cameos on the other end of a handful of phone conversations with George Barclay.
  • When George asks "Does anybody know what time it is?" Jimmy responds with "Does anybody really care?" This is a reference to the Chicago song "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"
  • It is mentioned in this episode that Tom Riley is both the head deacon at Odyssey Community Church and on the board of directors at the seminary.
  • Jimmy refers to the revelation that George was planning to go to seminary in #262: “A Prayer for George Barclay” when he comments in this episode about the last time that George asked the family to sit down.
  • Jimmy and Mary joke in this episode about their vacation to Hawaii in Aloha, Oy!.
  • For some reason, writer Paul McCusker gave Jimmy several lines of dialogue beginning with "it's just that" throughout this episode.


George Barclay: Mary? You might want to talk to the butcher. This chicken tasted a lot like hamburger.

Jack Allen: Hello, Jimmy. That's a lovely dress you have on, Donna.
Donna Barclay: Thank you.

George Barclay: I decided to take a break from studying and do a cheerier activity! Paying the bills...

Donna Barclay: We're going to get our haircuts!
Jimmy Barclay: Or, hairs cut, if you want to be precise.
George Barclay: Is it just me, or are you three acting funny?

Jimmy Barclay: Hey, Dad, let's toss the football around!
George Barclay: Eh, I'm not in the mood, Jimmy. You go ahead.
Jimmy Barclay: You want me to toss the football around by myself?

Jimmy Barclay: I say we all rise to congratulate Odyssey First Church's new kind of, sort of, in between pastor, for the time being...

Mary Barclay: You want to kidnap your father?

George Barclay: But you're so pregnant you can barely reach the steering wheel.
Mary Barclay: Oh, what a lovely compliment. Thank you, darling.

Jack Allen: I also know that whenever we're tested, God is also there to give us strength. He never calls us to something He won't empower us to do.

Jimmy Barclay: One for all and all for one. Or something like that.