In My Image
Whit tells the story of William, a boy who becomes tired of being told what to do. When he encounters a mysterious traveler offering him a god that's just right for him, Will puts himself into a terrible trap.
William is upset with his parents, teachers, and even God for always telling him what to do. One day while practicing piano he decides that he is tired of doing what everyone else wants him to do and decides to do whatever he wants to do, starting with going fishing with his friend Grimsby. While walking to the lake, Will tells Grimsby about his problems and that he wishes that he could change everything for another god. Out of nowhere an old man appears and asks Will if he really means that, and that if wishes were gold we'd all be very rich, the old man then proceeds to introduce himself as Randolph Fox, a traveling salesman. Grimsby decides that they probably shouldn't be talking to this stranger and leaves to go home while Will decides to go for a closer look at Randolph's horse and wagon.
Randolph asks Will again if he really wants a different god, if so what type and for how long. Randolph then reaches into his hat and pulls out a small wooden statue called Alexander the Answer god, claiming that it will answer any question that the user asks. The statue seems to work similar to a magic 8 ball. Will asks a few questions and is disappointed after he fails to receive the answers that he wants from the statue. Randolph the reaches into his hat and pulls out another small statue called "Affirmus" who looks like a small boy. Affirmus can talk and likes and compliments everybody, Will likes this god and Randolph offers to sell it to him, however Will has no money so Randolph offers to give Affirmus to Will in exchange for Will polishing his boots and washing his horse.
On his way home Will runs into Grimsby and shows him the doll. The doll speaks to Will, but Grimsby is unable to hear it. Grimsby says that he needs to go home to study history for an exam the following day, while Affirmus recommends that Will follow his heart and go fishing instead of studying.
For the next few days Will only did what he felt like in his heart, this decision eventually ends Will up in the principal's office, and then proceeds to skip out of school to get some chocolates. When Will gets to the store he sees that the store is closed, however the door is open a crack and Will decides that it is only a small bag of chocolates and that he should go in and get them.
Inside the store Will decides that he wants some cookies instead, he then realizes that he doesn't have any money and Affirmus decides that he should take them anyway. Just as Will takes a cookie the store owner, Miss Helga, comes in and starts to question him about what he is doing, and says that even if Will was planning on coming back later to pay for the cookies it is still stealing now. Miss Helga then says that she will take Will back to school, and Will replies that he doesn't want to go back to school and runs away, back to where he had met Randolph the day before. However when he gets there, he sees that Randolph is no longer there and decides to sit down and talk to Affirmus.
Will questions Affirmus about what happened, Affirmus only replies that he only affirmed what Will already wanted to do. Will then decides that he has caused too much trouble around town and that he needs to run away. Affirmus once again affirms his decision.
While running away, Will runs into Randolph once again, and Will asks Randolph for another god, one that affirms what he wants to do but will also keep him out of trouble. Randolph says that he can help but warns him that this time the price will be much greater: playing piano for Randolph at his next stop. Will is unsure about leaving his parents but Randolph assures him that he will write a letter to his parents explaining what has happened.
That evening around a fire, Randolph brings out another god, this one called Otto, who says that together he and Will will do amazing things.
At the next town Randolph starts to promise the people a piano concert by a great prodigy, when Will hears that he is this great prodigy he gets scared and turns to Otto for help. Otto tells him that his is very talented and special; also that he shouldn't worry and that he should place Otto on the piano beside him while he plays so Will can look at him while he plays. That night Will starts to stumble through his song, but then looks at Otto, and forgets about being nervous and starts to play better.
Will continues to go with Randolph from town to town playing the piano for him, later that night Will realizes that Randolph never told Will's parents where they went, he starts to write them a letter but Otto tells him that his parents were only holding him back and that they will only be jealous of Will and that they will want to come and take him back home. Otto then continues that Will should watch Randolph closely as he has been making a lot of money off of Will and that he may stop looking out for Will and start to only look out for himself. Otto then finishes by saying that Will needs him and that without him Will would be nothing.
Will's popularity continues to grow as he travels from town to town with Will, at one town after a show Randolph and Will are visited by Mr. Arthur Fieldstone, who offers to set up Will at the Kings Hall if Randolph will bring him to the city. Randolph says that they will discuss the matter tomorrow. Otto then tells Will that Randolph is scared that Mr. Fieldstone will take better care of Will than he can, he also says that Will should tell Randolph that the piano is out of tune and that he won't play till it is fixed. Otto also tells Will to tell Randolph that he should be the boss now since it he is the one making all the money.
Randolph suspects that it is Otto putting these ideas into Wills head, and warns Will that he should be careful of Otto; Otto refutes this by stating that Randolph only wants to pit Will and Otto against each other. Otto then continues that Will should ask Randolph for his own hotel room, which he does and Randolph regrettably gives to him.
That night Randolph tries to steal Otto away from Will, Otto wakes up Will, they fight and Randolph ends up leaving the tent. Once Randolph is gone, Will takes Otto and went to go see Mr. Fieldstone, when Randolph returns to the tent and finds Will gone, he realizes that he must have gone to see Mr. Fieldstone. He then decides that if he can't have Will, nobody can and finally sits down to write the letter to will's parents.
With Mr. Fieldstone, Will goes to the city and forces him to play three of four concerts a day and is soon exhausted from all the work, he wants to take a break but Otto tells him that he has it so well off now that he needs to continue. Will replies that money and fame don't last and that he wants to have friends again, he tries to remember what the Bible says about this but it has been so long that he no longer remembers. When Otto hears Will mention the Bible he mocks it and says that he doesn't want to talk to Will while he is in this sort of mood.
The next day after his concert, Randolph comes to Will's dressing room to talk to him; he has also brought Will's parents with him. Will is happy to see his parents, but they are sad to hear that Will no longer goes to church and are astonished to hear that he now follows the god Otto.
Then Mr. Fieldstone runs up with news that the king wants to hear him play, Will wants to bring his parents but he is not allowed, but he is allowed to take Otto with him.
After he plays for the King, the King gives Will a royal charter to play exclusively at the King's Hall, when asked Will says that he would like to talk to his parents before he agrees to anything. Mr. Fieldstone and Otto are furious with Will for even thinking about this and say that it's in his best interests to get rid of his parents, and accept the Kings offer, and then possibly move into a position of authority. Will starts to think back to what his parents said about God giving him a gift to play the piano and that maybe he should use it to play in church. Otto then starts fighting Will and says that he is the god and that Will will do whatever he wants. Will says no, and Otto grows into a full person and closes Will's lips so he can no longer speak, then Otto says that he will take over Will's life, he says that when you create gods to serve your own purposes you will end up serving those gods.
Will tries to cry out for help, then he wakes up to Randolph sitting by a fire just outside of their village; Randolph explains that the whole story about giving Will two gods was only a story. Will replies "Thanks God", Randolph asks if this is the same god that Will wanted to replaces and Will says not anymore. Randolph then takes Will back home to his parents and Will lives on with a thankful heart.
- Will wanted to get out from under God’s—and his parents’—control because he didn’t like being told what to do. Have you ever felt that way?
- Will tried to replace God with another “god” called Affirmus. What happened?
- Can you think of a time when you simply followed your heart’s desire and doing so got you into trouble?
- If you made getting stuff and/or friends your goal, do you think you would be happy?
- Why or why not?
- What does God say we should live for?
- Do you ever feel a fight inside of yourself between what you know you should do against what you want to do? (See Romans 7:18-25.)
William: If I stop doing homework will I still get good grades? <reading> Doubtful.