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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: Living in His Light
By Rachel Spencer


As a rebellious teenager, I had mostly stopped attending church with my family. Occasionally though, I would allow myself to be persuaded to join them. One such time, the pastor asked for a few members of the congregation to come to the front and share with the church their favourite seasons. I have no recollection of why he did it but Iím sure he had a good reason. What I remember is one lady, perhaps in her forties, getting up to talk about summer. She told the church that in the summer months, driving home from work through the countryside, she felt closer to God than at any other time. She talked about fields of crops speaking of a bountiful God, singing birds and wild flowers speaking of the beauty of creation, and the warm sun on her face reminding her that Godís face shines upon us.
Hearing that message I was, no doubt, scoffing silently. Summer, to me, was about time off school, lying in the park or by the pool with friends, getting a good tan, finding a summer fling. It was about sleeping in the mornings and staying out late. It was also, unfortunately, about hay fever, which left me with red eyes and a runny nose when I was desperate to be at my most attractive. But it was certainly not about getting close to God. I forgot the message and did not think about it again for many years.
As a young adult, I turned back to the Lord. I had tried to run my life my way, and had gone far off the tracks. Some wonderful friends slowly and patiently guided me back to God. In late summer one year, I stopped running from the God who had been beside me all the time. The high that I felt from receiving salvation lasted for about two days, before pressures of work pulled me back down again. In one day, I had been publicly criticized in a meeting, I had annoyed my boss by failing to meet a deadline, and I had been pulled into a foolish argument with a colleague. Walking home, thoroughly dejected, I took a detour down to a small lake not far from where I lived. It was still warm, and I found a bench beside the water and sat in the sun. As I stared at the lake and the peaceful surroundings, I heard again the words of the lady who had spoken about summer so many years earlier. I looked around me, and saw what she had seen; creation reflecting the beauty and glory of the Lord. I felt the sun on my face and the words that my mother had recited to me every night when I was a small child came back to me; Ďmay the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, and give you peaceí (Numbers 6:24-25).
As the words echoed in my mind, all the stress of the day was lifted away, and I felt peace settling on my shoulders, wrapping around me like a blanket. I knew at that moment that the Lordís face would shine upon me always, through both easy and hard times, and that from that day I would be able to walk in the light of His countenance.
As this revelation was still sinking in, several things happened all at once. A beautiful white bird landed on the lake in front of me, leaving ripples on the surface pointing directly at me, then taking off again it circled around my head before disappearing. Fireworks went off in the distance, and from somewhere behind me a trumpet started playing a triumphant tune. I laughed with sheer joy, knowing that God was celebrating with me as I begun to live in His light.
I have now been called by God into full time missionary service, and one of the best things about my life is that He has brought me to a land where the sun shines all year round. Every morning, I step out of my house and feel the sun on my face, a gentle reminder from my Creator and Saviour of His goodness, faithfulness and love.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley07/17/09
This is a very moving story and one which brought me joy in reading it. I think the "summer" topic was told in such a way that it was not obvious to the reader. I liked that about the story. When you submit your writings, you may want to check to make certain you have spaces between paragraphs. I know when I submit a story, as I scroll down, it is obvious that the paragraphs are bunched together. It makes for a much smoother read. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.
diana kay07/19/09
A good story. It is intersting how many authors have thought back to thier teenage years for material for this topic. I like the conntrast between the teenage view of summer and the older church member. some great description.