Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
By Pawel Spencer
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Looking up at the horizon Pawel almost forgot the predicament that he was in. The sky really was wonderful, lit, as it was, from the East in brilliant hues of red.
“Red in the morning, sailors take warning,” he said to himself.
But this was no storm that was coming. This was the Coming- the Coming that has been waited on for millennium. The Coming that had been embraced and anticipated by some, spurned and scorned by others. And an event to be feared for those like Pawel who tremble at the mere thought of it.
He lowered his eyes to the trees tightly gripping the rim of the great cliffs that surround the wasteland he now calls home, and is reminded of his own precarious grip on the slender piece of ground on which he currently stands. Rising up from the center of the abyss is his own promontory; a dagger stabbing up from below, stopping at his feet, providing him just enough ground on which to stand.
“How did I get into this mess?”
As recently as last year Pawel had enough ground on which he could take a leisurely stroll- not enough to get anywhere but at least enough to get some exercise. He remembered that at one point he even had enough ground on which to run- and before that he thought he could remember being able to run all the way to the trees and beyond. But that was then, all of it has since fallen away. Now he only has enough left upon which to stand.
He knows how it happened, but it is rarely that he reflects on it long enough to admit it. He was once free, free to run and fall down, free to laugh and to cry, free to risk and be cautious. He was free to live. But then he began to listen to those ‘people’. The ones who had all the answers, who had the Way all figured out and could tell you how it ought to be done. They began to teach him how his life ‘was really meant to be lived’. And he listened, he bought all that they had brought to sell. It was not easy, this new life. He began to lose ground with each new teaching that he adopted. But when he questioned them they explained to him that because he had been given so much, surely he would expect to have to offer some sacrifice in return. If he truly wanted to Live, they said. Pawel desperately did want to live, so he desperately clung to this new way, whatever the cost.
In the end he lost nearly everything and gained practically nothing. The ‘people’ eventually left him, running off to where the air was still clean- it seemed as if even they could not bear the stink of the sacrifice with which they had burdened Pawel.
Today, Pawel stands alone and scared. He has been without freedom for so long that he is no longer sure that it was ever real. He has been neutralized, isolated, placed in the chains of his own making and made impotent to do anything about it.
So he stands- and this morning his standing will bring him face to face with the Sunrise. What will He say?
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