Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)
TITLE: The dream of the map
By Jim Hutson
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"With this," the older man reached into his backpack, pulling out a small object as he continued. "This is a map. In it, you'll find direction of travel indicators, landmarks, and a scale to measure your progress on your journey."
"But, how will I know I'm going the right way?" the timid little boy's voice quavered as he look out at the vastness of the woods.
"There are notations from others, including myself, who have made the journey before you," the older man knelt down to look into the young boy's eyes. "Keep your eyes on the landmarks and you'll be fine."
"But, what if I get lost?" the quiver of fear echoed in the question. "How will I find my way back?"
"Just stop, my son, when you have lost your way," the father stood up, patting the top of the curly haired boy. "Read the map and it will show you the way."
"Aren't you coming with me?" the boy cried, the thought of being alone terrifying him.
"I've made this journey already," the reply came, echoing off the forest air. "Read the map and you'll travel the same path."
"Don't worry, son." The fading voice whispered in the little boy's ear. "You'll not be alone. There's a guide in the woods who will help you."
"B-B-But, how will I find him?" the wail of fear from the little boy almost drowned out the reply.
"Just call to him," the faint whisper of his father's voice came through. "He's always listening. He'll come to you."
And the boy stood alone.
I woke up in a cold sweat that morning, having unsuccessfully tried to end my suffering through a sleeping pill overdose. I couldn't shake the dream I had in the fight my body gave for life over my mind's attempt to end it, of my father who I had lost when I was a young boy of nine years.
I struck me then and I hurried to the closet where I kept the few items that were given to me by my mother after the funeral. In the box lay my father's bible.
My heart trembled with excitement as I opened the book to the one bookmark that my father had left in it. A verse was underlined, and in my father's hand was a note in the margin. It simply said, "The journey home begins here. Follow the landmarks, they'll guide you home." The verse was John 14:6, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
That morning, I took that frightening first step into the wilderness of my soul and found the path already written on how to reach that final destination. The place where my earthly father and mother wait for me to arrive and where my Heavenly Father holds open the gates to His mansion, where I have been promised a room by my kinsman Jesus Christ.
The key, I have found, to staying on the path is simple. You've got to read the map.
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