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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

By Darlene Casino


“It’s so beautiful here!”

We sat by a luxurious pool, basking in the late morning sun. In front of us was the intercoastal waterway of Southern Florida. Surrounding us on three sides, were towering buildings, housing hundreds of condo units suited for living the good life. The pool area, like a little Garden of Eden, was complete with coconut trees and tropical flowers. There was even a small golfing green where residents could practice their ‘putting skills’.

We were fortunate indeed. A friend of our son had graciously opened his home to us. We had taken the opportunity for a winter retreat, far from the cold and snows of a New England winter.

‘Himself’ was relaxing on a lounge with his favorite author. I sat beside him at a table with an umbrella. My book bag was emptied of all my ‘have to haves’ and they were spread across the table: sunscreen, water bottle, sunglasses; books, paper, pens and pencils; postcards and stationary. I was set to read, write, draw or just observe life in the Florida sun. This was truly carefree living.

As I looked across the waterway, my eyes scanned many mansions with perfect lawns lined up in a row. Most had boats and yachts, sometimes both, moored along private docks. It was a sight to behold.

About this time, a water taxi pulled up to ‘our’ dock and I watched people disembark, after a day of shopping in the downtown area. Surly, these were prosperous people.

By now my husband was sitting upright, viewing the traffic on the waterway.
“You know, they call this the Venice of Florida.” He remarked.

We watched boats of every size and kind go by us. A large yacht, filled with partiers, raising glasses and waving cheerfully to people on shore, glided by.
Women in bikinis seemed to be posing, as they lounged on top of cabins or strolled the decks.

They paraded up and down the waterway all day, and it was as if the onlookers were some kind of reviewing stand that would judge the biggest and the best.

‘Himself’was really enjoying the view!

I, on the other hand had a flashback to the “50’s” and our youth. Those were the days when the ‘in thing’ was to cruise the main street Friday and Saturday night. With gunning motors and the squealing of tires, the ‘hot cars’ would hurl challenges at one another. “Wanna drag?”

The message was clear to all: “Look at us; Aren’t we special…Aren’t you impressed?”

Watching those boaters that day, I wondered how many of them were the ‘cruiser’s’ of the 50’s? Were they still trying to convince the world around them, “I’m somebody, I’m carefree, I’m happy? I have everything I need…I win!”

We were surrounded with wealth, greater than we could ever know. But the eternal word of God brought me back to reality later that day. While reading Psalm 49, my heart rested on verses 16 & 17:
“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;
for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.”

No, “Do not be overawed...” They cannot buy right standing with God, nor insure a pain free life. Neither can they take it with them.

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This article has been read 934 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 07/20/07
Well written story and devotional tucked together! I had to get my Bible out and look up your reference verse because I hadn't noticed that bit about "their wealth will not DESCEND with them" before. Doesn't sound like a good direction to be going, does it?! Good writing!
LaNaye Perkins07/23/07
You wove a great life lesson into your story. Well done!
Kevin Rodgers07/24/07
This is written so well. Your story flows great with wonderful descriptions. Well done!
Sara Harricharan 07/25/07
Nice! I like how the story progresses here. We go from watching into a thoughtful mode. I think I found a typo here:
Surly, these were prosperous people.
Is there and "E" missing? Otherwise, good job here! ^_^
Joanne Sher 07/26/07
Great description, and GREATER scripture tie-in! Glad I finally found this :)