Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: My Life's Expectations
By Maureen Perreault
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Attainment wasn’t difficult for me. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with majors in business and finances, having my father’s last name, created frenzy throughout the brokerages in New York City as they offered me a plethora of jobs. Most of them I refused, always looking for higher compensations. Finally, I settled on Meanor and Wells, a high dollar firm, where the movers and shakers dealt. It seemed a confident choice at the time, and besides, I knew that I would eventually own the company anyway. Perhaps, my confidence outweighed my good judgment at such a young age. For years, fifteen exactly, struggling up the corporate ladder became futile. The ladder was full of obstacles so many compromises happened. Those choices led to a solitary workaholic lifestyle with my family shoved aside. My father, getting more elderly with passing years, was a faded memory. My mother, who called often, rarely had her calls returned. All of my time was work related to get my share of corporate pie. Constantly regretting times not spent with my parents, I continued grabbing for megacorp notoriety as my worship of money kept me hostage.
Illusive clawing to the top was ambiguously tenable, as newer smarter recruits were hired. My position stagnated at middle management. Wanting more but getting lowering job satisfaction, days passed into years. With tensions rising as idealized aspirations faded, I knew I couldn’t take much more of my self-imposed rut.
One afternoon in autumn, as leaves whirled down to the cold concrete sidewalk by my office building, I glimpsed a strange group of people. Curiosity got the better of me, even though the whole group looked greatly below my station in life. I approached them cautiously not wanting to make my presence known. One of them, an older woman, seemed to have their rapt attention. Her voice resounded with words I thought I hadn’t heard before. She spoke of Jesus and his position as Savior of the world. Her words were encouraging the group to accept Jesus as their redeemer. She promised transformation and rebirth of their lives. I squinted with astonishment at her words, but somewhere deep inside me, I felt twinges of acknowledgement and affirmation. Had I heard her words before, sometime in my past and now they are coming back into my consciousness? I wondered, listening to more of her speech which seemed directed deliberately in my direction. Maybe, my rewards were not to come from this world, I pondered deeply in my mind.
The sun was setting, yet I remained compelled, almost hypnotized, by this stranger’s ideas. I wanted what she had. I graved true happiness and love. When she said that everyone needed to accept salvation and become fishers of men, I knew what I had to do. I stepped forward and without hesitation, I screamed out, “I want what you have!” “You do, do you?” she retorted with an assuring smile. “Yes!” I yelled clearly. “What are you willing to give up then?” she asked, staring directly into my eyes. “Everything!” I spoke with my voice’s deepest definition. “Accept the lord Jesus into your heart and you will the joy and purpose for your life!” the old woman stated. I recited the sinner’s prayer with that woman, who previously I would have felt unworthy to pass the time of day with me. Now she was a fisher who had caught me for Jesus.
With determination, I ran back to my office. I knew the good news of the Lord had to be shared with everyone. I would be a fisher of men now since my old life with its fame and fortune was meaningless. I had to start immediately. Knowing it would only be a matter of time before my firm realized that I had quit without notice, before I departed, I hung a quickly scribbled note on my elaborate office door that read, “Gone Fishing!”
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