Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)
TITLE: The True Road
By Jeffrey Snell
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I was so tired. Alone on the sofa downstairs, damp dusk outside, noises of a house filled with life above and around me, I felt lifeless. My heart crackled with a lament of exhaustion and dull pain as He asked the question. Staring through my tears, my thoughts rushed backward to so many days…
Traveling through intersections toward home, sin's allure echoing in my mind, I fought the hundredth battle of the week. God's enemies always attacked with a hybrid strategy of siege, invasion and bold aggression. Proven effective time and again, groundwork laid long before began to pay off for them. The distant power of His word, like trickling water over layers of caked mud, was insufficient. Sipping at the poison through my eyes, my mind strode down the familiar path. Shouting from somewhere, one I used to hear lay just beyond audibility, a familiar voice. A shadow of warning, pleading and authority. Something important…but the conflict intensified, and I decided the voice was a distraction I could not afford. I had to concentrate and fight against the seductive betrayer. And though in my heart I knew my weapons were straw and plastic, I attempted to defend myself with pride, the voice fading with a sob and a word as I stepped forward: Son.
A single vicious blow swept my worthless defenses aside and crushed my resistance. I strayed from the road. Belated understanding surged beneath a tower of shock and anguish as sin erupted through my body. The new man watched and wept, because for a grain of sugar, a drop of honey, I traded the little ground my soul had gained, and I died. Again. Died a wretched, gruesome death, flesh ripped from my body, poisoning the joys of my future who lay in the branches, waiting with hope and innocence. Under a mountain, buried in the magma of grief, my soul's sense returned and pleaded for mercy. To my astonishment, love once more punctured the hardening rock and offered rest.
So I entered that delicious, soothing rest; but more battles lurked behind my healing, and I felt certain something was missing. But would I dare ask what? The answer pressed, like a dam that would burst with only a glance, power and truth flowing out over me if I chose. Even then the tempter called, sang, laughed, tickled my dead flesh. Hatred and fury bubbled up and exploded at this putrid foe. At the exploitation of my weakness. At my foolish actions. I did glance and instantly saw the wisdom which I had denied: I cursed the evil one but was his ally in deception. I concealed my sin from the hands of love reaching for me at the end of each day. Now my foolishness was grown, spread like an infection to threaten my cherished gifts from God.
Full darkness descended outside while I rocked on the sofa, doubled over, sinking deeper. The accuser still taunted, relishing my agony. But the mourning from continual lost struggles sliced like a scraping cello through the clamor of the enemy's battalion surrounding me and touched the Great Heart. As with a breaking sunrise, all was silenced in a moment by a single note in reply. My tears froze in place, as if time were being parted. Fresh air filled my lungs from somewhere as understanding chilled me with devastating joy. Is He…singing? I listened carefully to the perfect chords of a glorious, still small voice. Pure love invaded my heart and annihilated my lament. And on my knees, with new tears washing away my guilt, I heard the new man begin singing with Him.
Can we start down the true road now?
Your name is written, yet you still
Have tried so many trails, ditches;
Waded through muck and weeds.
Devotion, my son. The path waits
For you as always; the elusive
Piece is your devotion.
Commit your way to me, my love,
And your righteousness will outshine
The fear and temptation.
I have promised you the fruit of
Joy; Hope to fill your eyes and days
Is the heart of my plan.
Stay near the sword of the Spirit
And you'll stand in emerald pastures,
All enemies vanquished.
Confess your sins to those whose heart
Is part of yours, and you'll be free
To commit your way to me.
Can we start down the true road now?
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