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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)

TITLE: Hot and Cold
By Carolyn Summerset



As I listened to the repetitive rolling and clanking of the train’s wheels along the track, I wearily glanced out of the large window to view the vast marsh with fallen trees and overgrown brush and my mind wandered to the scene from an old Twilight Zone movie.

The movie was about two extremes Hot and cold. The scene was of a sparsely furnish living room where a woman and a man are clutching onto each other for dear life.

There was a thick frost on the windows and the occupants were wearing layers and layers of clothing. It was so cold that the pipes were frozen and the generator for the apartment could not be kept going. This then accounted for the bareness of the room. They needed warmth, so they burnt their furnishings in the furnace to create heat.

We then transition into the second venue of the same couple but this time they were sparsely dressed and zapped of energy. In the distance we can see that the window was opened but the air was simply stifling. The extreme heat caused the wiring to the air conditioner to melt rendering it useful. They took turns reading the large wall thermometer that had been placed prominently by the open window.

Which of these scenarios would I have choose was my next thought? I could internally hear the ticking of my mind. It was like the sound of a tightly wound watch trying to reset itself. My mind sought feverishly to analyze the pros and cons of each scenario

Extremes? Extremes are usually events that cause great discomfort and/or conflict. Hot and Cold. What could be more opposites? Peace and conflict. Would you rather be rich or poor? Beautiful or Ugly? Strong or week? Sad or happy?

Can the rich man lose all and live in peace when he has become poor? Can a beautiful woman, whose beauty was stolen by an automobile accident, look beyond her reflected image and find peace with her inner beauty? Will the athlete whose long lean legs carried him to win gold medals loss the use of them due to a disease be thankful for the glory pass or retreat to a life of a recluse?

There will be extremes whether we view them as “hot and cold” but the most important lesson is that on whichever end of the extreme we find ourselves, the One who loves us best will lovingly, tenderly guide us safely through.

The song says: “through many dangers, toils, and snares I’ve already come, was grace that brought me safe thus far and grace shall lead me home.” John Newton was having his on “Hot and Cold” experience when he penned “Amazing Grace.” One day the ship he was on was homeward bound, encountered a severe storm. Even though he no longer practiced any religion, his mother had taught him about God and in this time John Newton feared for his earthly life and asked the “Lord, have mercy upon us.” The heat of his test was extinguished by his need for an answered prayer.

Our Hot or Cold experiences are our proving grounds. Forcing us to call on that which we’ve been taught and have learned.

I recently walked into a Dunking Donut shop on one Saturday morning and I made my usual order of coffee. “Two coconut coffee’s, light and sweet, with cream, 1 large and 1 small.” After I recited my order as I had done so many times before the gentleman behind the counter nonchalantly asked “hot or cold?”

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This article has been read 407 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Herchenroether04/20/09
I especially liked the paragraph starting "can the rich man.." and also the reference to John Newton.
Nice article.
Yvonne Blake 04/21/09
There is a lot in this story...almost too many thoughts.
It would help to stick with one setting to convey your message.
Good observance of the extremes of our lives.