Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)
TITLE: Free But Not Freed
By Olawale Ogunsola
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So it was with Prince Emmanuel.
He realised that he was in the world to rescue those who were drowning in the rivers of life or sinking in the mire where one cannot hear any sound of falling.
This discovery really helped to make him readily available at every scene that deserved his attention.
In some cases, people came to intimate him with cases that needed his urgent assistance.
On several occasions, he surfaced on the scene that called for his intervention uninvited. He carried out his assignment without any form of discrimination.
His good deeds endeared him to the hearts of many people near and far. His reputation became a front page splash.
However, this led to an eruption of wrath from the chiefs, council members, most especially the highly placed religious leaders because of envy.
They used various means and methods to find faults with him. Many of them came to him with mischief as friends to hear and catch his words that they may have opportmity to destroy him.
They failed woefully!
One day, they devised another means of bringing him into judgment: by custom duty. On this particular day, we were going on a rescue mission as usual, I was the only person on his entourage; among the trainees. His love and that of the work had gripped my heart tenaciously.
The encounter was not only strange, it was also unusual.
"Stop there! Show us your temple custom receipt. If you have none, then you have the chance to pay and obtain one", a stern looking official demanded standing to obstruct our movement.
"We are citizens of this country sir" I submitted with dilated eyes and stiffened fingers.
The official threw a furious scowl at me and said, "And so what? Do what you were asked to do: show your receipt or obtain one!"
"You better cooperate with us or else..." another man retorted.
"Citizens do not pay such custom duty but strangers or visitors in this land." I insisted.
"Thank you, Mr Expert. You want to teach us how to do our work, eh?", another man from the team queried, rising on his feet with a seething animosity that quietly burnt away his patience. He continued, "Don't think that the law has set you free, today you'll not be freed until you've paid the last coin."
On hearing those words, my heart pounded and my palms were wet with sweat.
Emmanuel, my master, however, smiled, looked at each of them intently for awhile and finally turned to me, saying, "Peter, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for me and you."
I left the scene immediately for the sea although afternoon was never a good time to catch a fish. I trusted his words would work.
I got an old hook ready with a good bait attached to assist in the catch.
By the sea side, I threw in the hook with the bait that sank into the sea with a splash.
Within a shot time, a fish surfaced and swimmed in the direction of my hook. I keenly watched as it ate the bait until I drew the hook to catch it.
I opened its mouth and found a piece of money enough to pay our custom duty; took it and returned the fish into the water. Its slippery body splitted it into two and was swallowed. The fish, twisting left and right, swimmed away to continue its life.
I came to meet my master and the team of officials. They stood depressed and glanced occasionally toward me after payment.
It was then that the words of the Psalmist of Israel became clear, in a practical way, that say, "Seek peace and pursue it."
It was demonstrated by Emmanuel, who was the true Prince of Peace. Oh, what an effective way to silence the enemies!
NB: The scripture quoted from New King James Version is Psalm 34:14
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