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

TITLE: The Summer Doldrums
By Sara Mahoney
07/12/09


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Sunday was not always my favorite day. As a child, I absolutely hated getting up early (which, my husband will tell you, is still a thorn in my side), and my parents played in the church band. Every Sunday we would wake up before the sun came up to go to church. I always waited until the last minute, just resting my eyes, hoping that time would stop ticking past and I could sleep to my heartís content. Finally my mom would peel me out of bed, try to wrangle my forever tangled hair and plop me in the car just in the nick of time. Or five minutes late. But, once I was at church, everything was different. I was in my element. I knew all the bible stories, was friends with all the little girls and, of course, arch nemeses with all the boys who still had cooties.
I think for every child who grows up in church, there comes a moment when we actually begin to believe these stories we can so quickly recite. We begin to see that believing in this God of ours might cost us something and cause us to be different from our friends. I hope that these children know that it is all worth it because of the amazing love and friendship they receive in return from their Creator, and I hope this is their sole reason for deciding to follow Jesus, no matter where He will take them. I, however, did not begin my journey for this reason. Oh no, I was head over heels into Christianity for the excitement!
One Sunday, a missionary came and spoke at our church. She talked about these incredible adventures she had deep in the jungle, dodging poisonous snakes and arrows, climbing over waterfalls and of course telling people about Jesus. A life of excitement and adventure and making a difference? A chance to come back from overseas and be showered with love and admiration? Sign me up! I was ready to go to the jungle!
It is now summer and things have changed. I grew up, fell in love, got married and am working on my PhD. The days seems to bleed into one another, filled with hours at work, doing the dishes and occasionally long afternoons where I canít seem to fill the time. I always have this sense of waiting for the next thing; that I am only here until God really calls me. I keep volunteering more of my time at church, singing in the worship band and teaching Sunday school, and applying to work at every homeless shelter in the area. This canít be it, can it? I couldnít possibly be where God wants me! There is no jungle, no adventure, no divine communication with God that tells me I am changing the world each day. I have realized that with this dream I have left no room for the ordinary, the routine, or the mundane. Somehow I escaped childhood still believing that if I got it right and really listened to God, I would never be bored, that life would just happen to me, and I would be thrilled each day.
But right now it is just summer. As I look out my window, the sun is setting, and I have to admit is the most beautiful shade of pink and orange. Last week there was a terrific thunderstorm, and while I hate to admit this, I asked God is He would send one more lightning bolt just for me. The entire sky lit up with fingers of electricity. Now that I think of it, one of the little girls in Sunday school told me she has really been talking to God, and another woman said that the music we sang in the service touched her so deeply she teared up. Could this be where God has wanted me? Is this where I am needed? Is this it?
Its no jungle and there are no arrows or snakes, but it is summer and it is beautiful.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley07/19/09
Before you got to where you realized this was where God wanted you, that was my thought. My Pastor recently had a message he titled "Right in our own eyes." In other words, we have thee ideas that what WE decide to do is right, yet we either haven't consulted with the Lord or haven't waited patiently to see what God would have us do. I think you portrayed your story very well. You may want to check on making sure you have double spaces between paragraphs next time. Blessings, Laura