Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Transforming Journey
By Brenda Craig
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“Come on, you know it will be worth it in the end.”
As I stood sighing, he pulled the cloak on my shoulder a little tighter, “Just in case,” smiling as if he knew some secret.
I slipped into its embrace a little deeper in spite of the warm day, chilling from the sadness in my soul.
“Where are we going?”
“To a movie.”
“Go to a movie! You’re kidding? Right.”
“You will see, no pun intended,” laughing as he thought about his own wittiness. Why on earth did he always demonstrate so much joy? Frankly, today it was just irritating.
Interrupting my thoughts he said,”Give me your hand. The first step is always the hardest.” Step. What step? There were no steps here. The fact that I didn’t get it was soon to be demonstrated as I handed him my hand.
If you have ever been on a roller coaster, on that first drop, as your stomach falls out to the earth below, you might experience just a little of what I did- on the so called first step.
Breath left me as I clung to him for my very life. Leaving the comfort of my pity party, I found myself transported amidst clouds of swirling dust, hot arid air, and a multitude of sounds like the roaring of jet engines. They assaulted me on every side. I wasn’t at a movie. I was in a movie.
Oh, God! Where had he taken me this time?
Looking up, I realized the heat wasn’t coming from the blistering sun as the hairs on my face began to singe. Right in front of me was this rotating tornado like column of fire. Petrified, looking around to find him, I discovered I was alone. I groped for my cloak only to find it gone along with any solace.
Wondering what to do, I was surprised to find a camera hanging around my neck. My cloak is gone and he wants me to take pictures! What next?
Looking up, I saw what looked like a jillion people clamoring and shouting, “We are going to die here in this forsaken wilderness place. We are hemmed in on every side.” Compelled by the intensity of the scene, I began to take pictures. Violent shouting, cursing men, clashing chariot wheels, roaring tornado like fires, multitudes of crying and murmuring people filled every click of my camera.
Only one stood out among this chaotic scene; only one. Standing with confidence, he inspired a sense of peace and hope. His words “Don’t be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,” penetrated into my soul. Rolling waters erupted with the sound of thunder, consuming the small view finder of my camera. Click! Click! Snapshots and more snapshots of thundering waters, marching people, and finally an entire army disappearing before my lens. In the midst of uproar my sadness slipped away like parting waters, leaving a pathway to the other shore; to joy. Thoughts of my cloak were exchanged for feelings of gladness as shouts and songs rose from the other side.
“Wow! Now that is some party,” I spoke out loud.
“Yes, Yes it is,” he said.
“It is about time you came back,” I laughed.
“You won’t need that cloak anymore,” I see. “It was too heavy for you anyway.”
“Ready to go home,” he asked, offering his hand. Responding with gladness, I knew the time had come to get back and do some scrap booking.
Arriving back with a soft landing, no longer irritated, I understood my journeys great worth.
After a time of contemplation, I arranged the snapshots, realizing I only saw things in tiny little segments, which kept my focus small and narrow. This robbed my joy, allowing fear and sadness to fill my heart. The difference between the confident one and I was the ability to see beyond tiny snapshots to a panoramic view. Because he focused on Him, he didn’t have to wait to cross to the other side to have peace and joy. To dance on the other side with great merriment is good; however, to dance on this side with anticipated joy is better.
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