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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: Travel is Not Advised
By Tim Pickl
02/18/08


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The Christian magazine article trumpeted, "The deaf are one of the largest
unreached people groups in the world."

Rubbing the right temple of his forehead while waiting for the plane to land in
a snowstorm, Brother Parker whispered, "Yes Lord, I'm here. I'm late,
but I'm here..." Brother Robert Parker carries a heavy burden in his
heart for the lost deaf souls around him. He is a 'hearing' person but
learned American Sign Language at a very young age from his grandfather,
who was deaf.

When God presented the opportunity, Brother Parker eagerly accepted the
invitation to preach at the largest Deaf Ministry conference in North
America. "But I'm late..."

Robert felt elated as the plane finally landed and taxied to a freshly
plowed area around the terminal.

As Brother Robert stepped into the terminal building, he powered his cell
phone on and saw he had several voicemails. He quickly found out that the
brothers who were supposed to pick him up were not coming.
Frustrated, he made his way to rent a car.

All they had left was a large SUV.

"I'll take it. I need to leave right away!"

He programmed the route into the GPS satellite navigation system, and sped
off through the heavy, wet snow.

"Turn right at the next intersection..." the GPS unit monotoned.

Suddenly headlights flashed bright-low/bright-low behind Brother Robert.

Just as he glanced in the mirror, a large passenger van instantly swerved
around the driver's side and started sliding toward him in the snow. To
avoid certain impact, he cranked the wheel hard. His rented SUV bounced up
the curb, narrowly missing a fire hydrant. The nearby traffic lights went from
green, to amber, to red.

"Unbelievable! Idiots! I don't have time for this! I really need to get

there." Furious now, Brother Robert saw the red light but didn't care. He
was going to catch up to them. He jammed the truck in gear, and--

WHAM! Another vehicle slid on the same icy patch, hitting the back bumper
from the side and spun his truck around.

Brother Robert just got more irritated. "Get out of my way!"

The snow spun behind the truck like a broken parachute as he went after the
the van. The GPS was still on: "Turn left at the next intersection..."

"Shut up!" He tried to thumb the GPS power button to the OFF position, but
missed. "Caution, Winter Storm in progress. Travel is not advised."

Squinting through the snow, he had to slow down and stop for a traffic jam.

Brother Robert could see over the cars in front of him--about a block away
there was an ambulance and fire trucks--their emergency strobe lights
reflected eerily in the snowy night.

"Oh, WHAT NOW!?!" he yelled, slamming his hand on the steering wheel.

He saw a way out--on the sidewalk. Irrationally, he drove up on the
curb--too close to a parked car. Unexpectedly a door opened, but he
couldn't avoid it. The SUV smashed into the door, breaking it off, causing
the SUV to run up onto a large snow bank and fall over on one side. Robert
hit his head on the driver's side window and started bleeding.

GPS: "Travel is not advised."

"Shut up! Ouch...Ohhhh....what a mess!" He pressed his head with his
preacher's handkerchief and crawled out of the truck through a back door.

The blaring sound of a siren rushed by as a second ambulance rushed to the
accident scene.

"Help! Help! Help!" A little boy ran toward him on the street, bounding
through fresh fallen snow.

"Sir, I need your help. There's a big van over there and it spun out. It
has a bunch of deaf people are in it. A bunch of 'em are hurt. No one can
talk to 'em. Can you help?"

Brother Parker's intense anger and rush to get to the Conference all
vanished in that eternal moment--a God-ordained moment.

"I can help. Let's go!"

Together Brother Parker and the boy went to the van. The once-angry
preacher with a bloody head became a magnificent minister, translating for
the deaf victims to the Emergency Medical Team.

Meanwhile, the Deaf Conference transformed into an intense prayer service.
Three deaf victims were saved, but two were severely injured for life.

Brother Parker received two things that icy night: a permanent scar on his head
and a 'GPS' revelation. Everywhere he goes now he preaches, “Caution, when
an anger storm is in progress, travel is not advised.”


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This article has been read 1035 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/21/08
This article is filled with creativity. I like the touch of the "GPS" system and the way you tied everything together, beginning--middle--and end. I can relate to sometimes letting my ministry passions get the better of me, not only hurting myself but others in the process. Well done and perfectly on topic. :)
Jan Ackerson 02/22/08
Very good! I love stories about God's perfect timing.

There was some minor tense-switching in the 2nd paragraph, no big deal.

I like the gentle ironic wit you have.
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
Wonderful story. You kept the narrative flowing throughout. One suggestion would be to put the main character's thoughts in quotes or italics and be consistent. Keep writing.
Joanne Sher 02/23/08
Very creative - love the title! Enjoyed this very much.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/23/08
A terrific story! A great moral comes from this very unhappy incident regarding the ice, the late plane, the SUV, the anger, the head scar, the wreck and the enlightening Weather Commentator's "Travel Is Not Advised. Very creative and a good lesson-learning finish. Good Job!
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
This is really really good. I loved it. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 02/25/08
What a creative entry, that began with your title. One of my favorite lines is, "vanished in that eternal moment--a God-ordained moment." (I believe in these moments too). You had me wanting to help the preacher hurry to his destination. Now what is a "preacher handkerchief"? I like that you called it that. :) Your ending was super! Great work.

Debbie Wistrom02/26/08
I think we may have a placer here. This is so well done, not too harsh of a lesson but one he won't forget thanks to the scar...keep up the good words.
Catrina Bradley 02/26/08
Great story - I love the last line especially. :)
Lyn Churchyard02/26/08
Ahhh that was refreshing to see a Christian, warts and all - albeit not a good witness but I can appreciate his frustration. I've been known to mutter about stupid idiots on the road only to have to ask forgiveness within seconds.

What a great example of God's wonderful timing... a true case of "Godincidence". As with everything, God new exactly what was going to happen and exactly where he wanted Robert to be.

I loved him telling the GPS to "shut up." Very, very well written, Laura.


Joy Faire Stewart02/27/08
Love the title and the story did not disappoint. Good job on topic!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/27/08
You did an excellent job of presenting the humanness of the preacher, followed by the way he was used divinely. I loved the ending.
Sara Harricharan 02/27/08
I like Brother Parker! I can see him on quite a few adventures along these lines! Isn't amazing what will happen to get us to where God needs us to be at that moment? You illustrated that very well! I liked the end though with the "anger storm" never heard it put that way before, but it sure fits. Nice job! ^_^
Patty Wysong02/27/08
This made me laugh at the end as it drove the lesson home--very soundly, too. What a creative idea.
Loren T. Lowery02/27/08
First, I really liked your writing tecnique using the GPS as a disembodied but level-headed voice. And the frustration and utterances by your MC couldn't have been more pefect. He said things I think most of us would (ir have alreday) have said under the same circumstances : ). I really liked this creative phrase, too: "The snow spun behind the truck like a broken parachute"
And finally I liked the moral and it brought to mind a Biblical truth I've believed in for years...God certainly directs our steps.
Great job!
Joshua Janoski02/27/08
I know there was a certain seriousness to this piece, but I found myself laughing almost the entire time. I pictured it as a comedy film, and the GPS thing was hilarious. Working in the computer field, I know what it's like to get frustrated and yell at a piece of electronic equipment. Thanks for the great story! :)
c clemons02/28/08
Good job Tim, I can only echo all the other commenters. Keep up the GOOD work.
Paula Titus 02/29/08
Having just read this, I must say it's one of my favorites. I love how you demonstrated God breaking through our circumstances and bringing ultimate good :) Great writing!