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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: I Am Thornseed
By Larry Elliott


Recently I took a glimpse around my yard and determined it could use a little something to pep it up. So I decided on flowers. Now, I may have green eyes or green stuff in the refrigerator and even a green lawn, but by no means do I possess a green opposable digit on either hand. So, I opted for a bag of wild flower seeds that pretty much grow on their own. All you do is till up some dirt, grab a hand full of seeds and throw them around. Then stand back and watch nature do her thing. Well, sort of.

A few weeks later I actually had flora adorning my fence line. I felt so proud. I strolled along beaming at all I had created. Then something across the fence caught my eye. Poking up among the thistles, briars and weeds were a few flowers of the type I had recently planted. As I remember, it had been a bit breezy the day of sowing. Some of the seeds apparently drifted over the fence. That was cool by me. Anything would improve the appearance of that derelict field.

A few days later as I displayed my handy work to a friend I noticed the flowers across the fence were already dying, almost dead in fact. The ones on my side were flourishing nicely even though I had not watered them once. There had been a couple of decent rain showers which seem to be all they desired. The wandering wild flowers had received the same nourishment yet they were withering away.

Out of the blue a bolt of ‘scripture lightning’ zapped my brain. I remembered a parable in fact on this very subject. Having read this passage several times I needed no concordance- so it only took about a half an hour to find it.

As I read the passage these words seemed to resonate deep within my soul- ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ Matthew 13:22 KJV

I read the verses again. All of a sudden it hit me like a June bug on a windshield. When I finally composed myself enough to wipe the tears away I read them once more.

I had become that seed in the thorns.

Less than two years ago I was a church board member, men’s group leader and had submitted an application for a local minister’s license. My wife and I were teaching the teen Sunday school class and also holding a teen service each Thursday night at the juvenile lockup side of the county jail.

My wife began to have health issues which required many doctor’s visits, numerous tests and some stays at the hospital. Not to mention side effects from the various medications- and the bills.

Then serious issues with other close family members arose.

Next we were forced to move into another house due to mold that was complicating my wife’s recovery.

These among other difficulties of life gradually sneaked into and began to gain control over our lives.

Over a period of time I resigned my board position, passed on the men’s group leadership torch, gave up the teen class and eventually stopped going into the jail. Oh yeah, I took back the minister’s license application. All because I was convinced I could not spare the time and commitment these positions deserved. Each moment of every day was already distributed between work and family matters.

I continued to attend church, but mostly as a pew warmer.

The thorns of life had successfully rendered me ineffective.

Needless to say I did not waste time donning the knee pads. Nor did I stand until I was sure old man Thornseed was dead.

I have a way to go until I am as active in the Lord’s battle as before, but I am again headed in the right direction.

The enemy is very good at what he does. Do not underestimate his fox-like wit.
We do not have to be blown into the thorn bushes. Just be still for a moment. They will slowly creep up one by one all around right where you stand.

Are satan’s thorns choking you, sapping your spiritual energy? Take your petition to the master gardener and allow Him to remove the briars or maybe transplant you to the other side of the fence.

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This article has been read 780 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shelley Snyder10/10/05
Fabulous entry. I really enjoyed reading this.
Garnet Miller 10/10/05
Thank you for sharing. I have felt this way myself. Actually, this article reminded me that I am feeling old man Thornseed a little right now. God will never give us more than we can bear.
Paul Potenza10/10/05
Don't you EVER give up! I have been feeling a lot of the things that you wrote about and I give glory to God that I read you're article tonight. If you need help, you've got it at your fingertips. Great article. "Write" On. Pauly
adelina tomino10/10/05
I like the message very much.
a thing to remember ... there is always a place for us to come back home and restart all over again ... Harvesters are in great need.
Alexandra Wilkin10/11/05
Very well written, but what makes this piece work is the honesty. Perhaps God blew those seeds over to that derelict piece of land as a way to reach you? A timely message. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 10/12/05
Beautifully done; you are warm and witty in the first few paragraphs and you lead us into the same emotions that you experienced in your journey of self-discovery. Masterful. I really don't think you need the last paragraph; you did such a good job in the essay that your readers certainly "get it."
Anita Neuman10/12/05
"We do not have to be blown into the thorn bushes. Just be still for a moment. They will slowly creep up one by one all around right where you stand." This is just one of the examples of BRILLIANCE in this article. And there are many.

I don't quite "get" this part: "Needless to say I did not waste time donning the knee pads. Nor did I stand until I was sure old man Thornseed was dead."

But all in all, this is a FABULOUS entry - I'm calling it a winner!
Alexandra Wilkin10/17/05
A huge congratulations on your commendation Larry. Well done and God bless.
Deborah Porter 10/17/05
Larry, congratulations on your Highly Commended Award. You also ranked 15th overall - that's out of a total of 145 entries, so be encouraged! You mixed just the right amount of light humor into your entry to make it easy for the reader to take the strong message. Well done.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)