Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Reaching the Palace
By Edmond Ng
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“Oh, cut it out Sue, you worry too much, a little side track will not do us any harm. Look at what the other way offers. All our hearts' desires of freedom, pleasure, material goods, just about anything you want, and look at what we are facing now walking this narrow path? Nothing, but trouble!”
Christian, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have been walking the woods for several hours and were tired after climbing down the narrow valley with steep sides and rocks cutting through the hill. The path ahead offered two different ways, one to the left, and the other straight. The way to the left was a big city, brightly illuminated with joyful singing and festivity, and the people were enjoying themselves feasting, drinking, and dancing. The way straight, on the other hand, was a narrow path, seemingly endless and leading to nowhere, with nothing of pleasure or interest to entice the four brothers and sisters to continue the journey.
"Christian, you know the instructions of the elderly man at the temple," said Lucy, the youngest in the family, earnestly. "We are to continue our journey until we reach the palace, or we will be denied our inheritance."
"No, I don't believe we have to follow the instructions of that elderly man too strictly. He never specifically tells us when we are to arrive at the palace, so I think it will be fine for us to reach there a little later, maybe after dinner?"
"I don't think so, Christian. I believe the elderly man is telling us not to stop at anything that distracts us and to concentrate on reaching the palace," said Edmund impatiently as he readied himself to continue the journey.
"Edmund and Lucy are right. We should continue our journey till we reach our destination or we may fall prey to temptations and be disqualified," Susan insisted.
"Alright, if all of you insist, I'll follow," Christian replied in an aggravated voice, expressing annoyance.
So the four continued on their journey as fast as they could as it was nearly sunset and the sky was becoming dark. Christian, who was no longer taking the lead, tagged along behind the three, and after a short distant, paused to look back. What he saw shocked him.
The brightly illuminated city was raining brimstone and fire out of heaven, and all that surrounded the valley, the vegetation and the inhabitants of the city were up in flames. The smoke of the land ascended to the sky like the smoke of a furnace, and everything were completed burnt to the ground and destroyed.
“Look!” Christian exclaimed. “The city – it’s being burnt to the ground! This must be an act of God, a punishment similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah! I was so foolish to have wanted all of you visit the city!”
The three looked in the direction Christian was pointing and saw all that have happened to the city. Lucy, deeply grieved at the lost of so many lives, wept. Susan tried to console her.
“My brother and sisters, let’s not delay any longer, lest all of us perish like the inhabitants of the city! Be quick and run to the palace as fast as we can to be saved!” said Edmund in great urgency.
Christian, Susan, and Lucy became alert and immediately ran towards the path leading to the palace. From a distance, the four could now see in the dim light, a silhouette of a palace glowing brighter as they drew nearer.
When the four finally arrived at the palace, they saw hosts of heavenly angels standing at the gate. A voice like thunder spoke from the throne, “Well done, good and faithful servants! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master's happiness!”
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. (Proverbs 2:2 NLT)
You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT)
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