Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)
By Chris Janzen
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He constantly amazed the people around him, always raising the standard ever higher and then attaining it. He had been a perfectionist in his work and very hard on himself, unable to appreciate the amazing talent everyone else could see so clearly. He was a perfectionist in other ways as well, never satisfied with himself, always reaching, striving to be better, to be different, to be more.
Unquestionably he was special, from the time he was a young boy it was obvious to those around him he was destined for greatness. His childhood was not an easy one; his father was exceedingly harsh with the young boy and demanded perfection from him. He would tolerate nothing less. He was a strict and stoic man, so much the opposite of the gentle child whom he bullied on a daily basis. This shy and special boy, who cared so deeply for everyone, who wanted only to make people happy; how he suffered under the brutal hand of his father's discipline. Yet he had his father to thank for all his success, for without the constant pushing and driving and demanding, he would not have reached such lofty heights. He knew this was true, but still the bitter taste of resentment burned within his belly.
In time he had children of his own, and he vowed to give them a better childhood than he had experienced. It wasn't about riches; he had plenty of money. It was his love he longed to lavish on his children; the one thing his own father withheld so selfishly. He protected these precious little ones; spent all the time he could with them, taught them all he knew about life, and loved them—deeply and truly loved them. He drank in every minute with them, determined to be the very best father he could possibly be. His children adored him, which was just what this sensitive boy of a man needed; to be loved unconditionally.
He had endured many trials and difficulties in his lifetime; been hated, ridiculed, misunderstood, and harshly judged. People saw him as different; his behavior seemed odd to most, and this drew suspicion and criticism. In the prime of his life he had been beloved by seemingly the entire world; now in these, his twilight years, it seemed the world had forgotten him, turned its back on him, and done away with him. So he settled into the twilight of his life and found solace and comfort in the love of his family.
Years of hurt had wounded the gentle soul of this man; his spirit was irreparably broken. He tried to go on for the sake of his children. He knew how much they needed him, but it became apparent the damage could not be undone, and he felt life slipping from his hands. When his shimmering light was abruptly extinguished, the world stopped in disbelief, and once again embraced this gentle child of a man. They lauded his many impressive accomplishments and hailed him as a King. Now that he was gone, his star once again shone brightly. Where were all these admirers and friends in those twilight years when he had needed them? It didn't matter now, because Michael was home with His Creator, the one who had given him the gifts he so generously shared with everyone. His Creator knew this boy's heart was pure. He had always encouraged people to do their part to make this world a better place. As his golden casket was rolled away, would people heed the call he had issued through all the years of his life? How would they spend their twilight?
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