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)
By Shirley McClay
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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.
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