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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Worth Everything
By Shirley McClay
~10th Place


“Lord, today I choose to listen to Your still, small voice and obey it. You promise that if I commit my way to You, You will direct my path. You say that Your plans are to prosper and not to harm me. Today I choose to trust in that.”

Brianna closed her journal and Bible. Today was going to be a busy day. She needed to hurry to get the kids ready for it, but now she was prepared for whatever lay ahead.

Jake and Kaylie piled into the car as Brianna turned the key. They grinned at each other while the engine wheezed and hacked and finally coughed it’s way into a rough gurgle. “We need a new car. Today, Lord!”

They drove into the used car lot just as Dave was getting out of his truck. “How’s the day going, Sweetheart?” Dave dropped a swift kiss on her lips and smiled into her eyes. “Ok. Maybe a little tense,” Brianna squirmed a bit. “I am trying to really trust God’s input on this, but it’s hard.”

“Let’s just take it a step at a time.”

The salesman greeted them with a hearty handshake and barrage of questions. An hour later they sat together in a car that fit their needs and their budget.

“What do you think?”

“I love the color, Mom.”

“It runs great, Dad.”

“It’s a cool car!”

“What do YOU think?” Dave asked me again.

I couldn’t meet his eyes.

“Be honest, please.”

“I love the car. It seems perfect. But I just feel unsettled about it. I think God is saying no.” A hush settled over the back seat.

“Exactly my feeling. I don’t think this is our car.” Cries of disappointment erupted but were silenced with a frown from Dave.

“We need to do what God tells us or we won’t end up with the best.” My words echoed my journal entry from this morning but my heart was agreeing with the kids. We left the lot with our old car.

The mall was elbow to elbow with after Christmas sale hunters. The kids followed in my wake with next year’s winter clothes tightly gripped so they wouldn’t be lost in the dodge and twist dance.

So when I stopped dead in my tracks, I wasn’t surprised when both of them plowed into me. The guy that stomped my foot and cussed at me did surprise me. Oh, well. I zig-zagged my way over to the store with the sale sign in front. Back in October, a pair of jeans had caught my eye and there they were. Fifty percent off and one pair left. It was in my size! I grabbed it and headed to the checkout counter. Uh-oh. There was that feeling again. A sick, unsettled sensation in the pit of my stomach. I groaned inwardly… “Look at the price, God! And they are in my size! This must be from You!” The feeling wouldn’t go away. “I will direct your steps.” I put the jeans back and we left the mall. That night, I journaled again.

“I don’t understand God. It seems as if I give You permission to tell me what to do and You take everything away. It’s as if You enjoy telling me no. But I choose to believe Your Word and not appearances or my feelings. I would rather have this peace and closeness with you than a new car, cool jeans, or even the bitter attitude I’ve been carrying around all day. Thank You for Your forgiveness and help me to continue to trust You to direct my path.”

It’s been two weeks since we looked at that car, Lord. Yesterday, my parents bought a new car and they gave their old one to us! You knew that was coming! It really stung when our neighbor, Paul, bought that beautiful little car we wanted, but now I understand! Oh, and thank You for Bonnie! We have been walking every morning for the last week and I’ve lost almost five pounds! Those jeans would have been a waste and even at the sale price, they were kind of expensive. Ok! Very expensive! Thanks for helping me to choose what was worth the most… You.

“Brianna, Paul called to get a ride. The brakes just went out on his new car. It’s going to cost him over a thousand dollars to get it back on the road!” Dave headed out the door.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin01/31/08
Good story - universally adaptable to all of us, I believe. Good job. :)
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
Great job with illustrating the lesson not once, but twice, and in the hearts of a very tender family.

A quick question--wouldn't the new car be under warranty?

With so many dysfunctional families, it was nice to read about a good one.
Laury Hubrich 02/02/08
Very good story and great lessons to be learned here! Keep up the great work!
Dee Yoder 02/03/08
Very good dialogue going on in this story. Except for the little glitch that Jan pointed out, I don't need to use a red pen on this at all. Very good characterizations and you set the scenes well. Right on with the topic, too.
Marita Thelander 02/04/08
Good way to illustrate waiting for God's best. I noticed a paragraph that seemed a bit "full" and could have been broken up. Also, the transition to the mall was a bit weak. From one beginner to another....keep writing.
Laury Hubrich 02/05/08
You made the list for the Beginner Blessings this week! Congratulations! Here is the link: http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=17610
Holly Westefeld02/05/08
I enjoyed this faith-building story.
I guess it depends upon the laws of the state as to how long a used car would be under warranty, but I just took it as being the hazzard of a used car, many of which we have had.
Gerald Shuler 02/06/08
Good use of dialog. That's an area where a lot of writers fall short.

You hit the topic, you created an emotional response, you started well, you ended well.

What more could an entry need?

Other than judging well.
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
You nailed the topic here. I liked how she was listening to hear His voice, even when the answer was 'no' the ending with the journal entries, that made it come alive for me. I was able to relate to that and your message is very clear. Good job. ^_^
Hanne Moon 02/06/08
Great ending! Enjoyable read. Keep up the good work!
Beckie Stewart02/06/08
Loved this story. Stirred up memories to 2002.. we looked at new car, but my hubby and I had no peace. Did not buy it and 2 months later our son totalled our car. He would have totalled our brand new car that we would have been paying payment on. Thanks for this.

Joy Faire Stewart02/06/08
This reads like a true story. The dialogue is very realistic. Good job!
Joanne Sher 02/06/08
I love the thread of trusting the Lord throughout this piece.

Some of the dialog seemed a bit unnatural, but that could just be me.

A wonderful message brought across in so many ways :)
Loren T. Lowery02/06/08
You are quite a story teller. Great job. Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one I rely on daily and as your article points out, it is not always easy. But, in the end, His ways are always the best. Keep writing!
Karen Wilber02/06/08
Charming story. I like the happy ending - like that she lost the weight. Whoohoo! I thought your comment about her wondering why God seemed to be taking everything away was on target. Many times we take the short view of things.
Sheri Gordon02/07/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is a very good example of the proverb.
Dee Yoder 02/07/08
Congratulations on your EC!!! Way to go!!!
Debbie Wistrom02/07/08
Glad this made it to EC, or I might have missed it. Thanks for the concrete examples of how God works, when we stop and let him. Congrats.
william price02/07/08
Very impressive, Shirley. Congrats on EC. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work. God bless.
Peter Stone02/08/08
Congratulations on your EC placing with this excellent article. Looking forward to more from you.
Sara Harricharan 02/08/08
***Congratulations, Shirley!***
Catrina Bradley 02/12/08
Love it! :) Congrats! Cat