Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
By Cyndy McNaul-Nelson
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My other uncle served in the military during Viet Nam. He stayed in the military for some time after the war and served as a Secret Service Officer later. It seems he has lived an exciting life. But he too, drinks a lot. Do people drink too much because they are happy? They don’t look like they are enjoying themselves to me.
In my almost fourteen years of age, I haven’t seen much good that alcohol has done. My best friend, Shaina, has trouble with her Mom’s boyfriend. He is always drinking and tries to mess with her. She says he doesn’t get anything accomplished physically, but sometimes I catch her crying in secret. Maybe she will open up to me in time and tell me what is really bothering her. I let her know I’m praying for her and she thanks me. I’ve asked her to come to Sunday school, but her mom won’t let her.
Shai spends time at my house playing on the game cube and we talk about the boys in our class at school. We’ve decided the guys of the upper classmen are more desirable than the boys our age. The ones sitting next to us in class are weird and irritate us.
In asking Shai once about what she desired out of life, she thought for a very long time while staring at my bedroom ceiling. Drawing in a deep breath she answered while exhaling. “I want to feel safe and loved. What do you desire, Desire?”
I laughed at her play of words with my name. “I haven’t decided yet. My Sunday school teacher asked my class that question. She said our desires lead us into the paths that we choose in life.”
Shaina was listening quietly, so I continued to share with her what my Sunday school teacher taught. “She quoted a verse in Proverbs that says to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Shaina raised her hand with a question. “So, what about your uncle that is in prison? Your grandparents taught him about God and he is in jail now. He departed from the path that was taught to him.”
“I know, Shai. I asked that of my teacher. She said that everyone is given the choice to choose which path they will follow. Wise children, who are taught God’s ways, chose to live a good life in God. It’s called righteousness.
Foolish are the children who chose the path opposite of what they were taught. That’s called rebellion and God doesn’t like rebellion. But that isn’t the end of it for the foolish child. She said that prayers go up for the foolish child until that child turns his life to Christ. For some it may take a prison sentence or a deathbed to bring them to the place where God wants them.”
“Wow, Desire! That answers many questions I have flying around in my head.”
“Yes Shai; it does for me also. My teacher has given me much to meditate on. I’ve concluded that my desire is to serve God with all my heart, my entire mind, and all my soul.’
“That’s what I want, Desire. Maybe if I do that as my first desire, God will allow my desire for safety and love to follow me. Do you think?”
I nodded, and we prayed.
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