Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)
TITLE: Carnie & Spree
By Cheri Hardaway
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“Now, Carnie,” Spree soothed, “that’s why it’s called a challenge. You get the chance to stretch yourself, to move out of your comfort zone.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I’m floppy, I’ve been stretched so far already. I’m skipping this one,” Carnie pouted.
“Okay. Maybe you do need a rest. Maybe you’re trying too hard,” Spree conceded, secretly glad Carnie was weakening.
“So now you want me to quit?” Carnie asked petulantly. “Aren’t you the one always talking about stepping out in faith? Don’t you always quote the Bible to me? Aren’t you going to give me that old stuff about letting God touch someone through my words?” she mocked.
Unruffled, Spree quoted quietly, “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased,” (Hebrews 13:16, NKJV).
Unable to rile Spree, Carnie was done complaining. Despairing, she now whined in self-pity, “I try so hard. I work and I toil, birthing these ‘brainchildren.’ Every time I imagine this is THE ONE – the winner – and then it falls into that pit of mediocrity, with all my others.”
Spree held her peace, a picture of tranquility.
As I listened to my constant companions, I knew I would be forced to pick sides, as always. I sighed. This was getting old.
Carnie, short for Carnality, has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Her sole concern, pleasing herself, consumes her. Her arguments are compelling. It would be nice to quit striving. It would be nice to avoid disappointment. She needs to win and be affirmed to keep her motivation.
“Maybe you could give up the vanity without giving up the writing,” Spree suggests softly, butting into my thoughts. How does she always do that?
Spree, short for Spirit – Holy Spirit – has only been part of my life for the last few years. While Carnie’s influence continually tempts me to please only myself, Spree exhorts me to please my Creator, urging me to invest in others’ lives and to live for serving Him.
These two battle daily for my favor. And the battle can become quite intense!
God has called me to write. I know He led me to Faith Writers as a place to learn and to grow. I may not be published – may never be – but He daily shows me His faithfulness and blesses me with the ability to share it with others through the written word. All He asks of me is to be willing to use the gift He has placed within me.
The choice is mine. I can listen to Carnie and sow to my flesh, which profits nothing and reaps corruption, or I can listen to Spree and sow to the Spirit. The Spirit gives life.
“Well,” whispers Spree, “what’s it gonna be? Will you write this week? Are you willing?”
Recognizing defeat, Carnie is strangely silent as I answer, victoriously nodding my head, “Yes, I will.”
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