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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: AN AFRICAN DAWN.
By Kenneth Heath
03/12/08


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AN AFRICAN DAWN

Peter smiled as he stepped out onto the veranda. It was 4:45 am and according to him the best part of the day. Seating himself in his favorite chair he turned to watch the sunrise. On cue, inching over the dark horizon appeared the first slivers of light. Boldly, they advanced lighting up the crisp new day with their fiery hues. The water- feature gurgled gently as nature awoke from its sleepy slumber. Mingling with the heady aroma of his Mocha Java coffee, the fresh perfumes of the Jasmine creeper and the Frangipani tree blossoms, infused an opium of well-being within his soul. As the night insects noisily withdrew to their dark shady spots within the shrubbery, the flowers stretched forth their petals in a timeless ”pilates” movement, exposing a kaleidoscope of vivid colour as they greeted the dawn.

Excitedly the wild birds flew in to feast on the crushed corn that he had put out for them. The bees’ went buzzing about their business and the dragonfly’s darted about the shimmering swimming pool. The rich earthy smell of freshly cut grass added to the heavenly bouquet as each blade stretched towards the sunlight evicting the heavy morning dew from its comfortable perch. In the valley, the mist hung heavy, clinging to the African bush until it was vaporized by the hot sun revealing, the battle-scarred bush where man toiled against nature in the never-ending cycle of agriculture.

It’s tough living in paradise, he mused, as the chiming of the grandfather clock rudely interrupted the moment, “Time waits for no man”, he thought as he yawned and stretched. Peter was fascinated by time, God had created it and man through the years had developed intricate mechanisms to measure it. He collected watches and clocks, the precise movement of the mechanisms and the beauty of their containers fascinated him. Of all the watches in his collection, the Seiko automatic was his favorite, being motion powered, it never required winding or batteries. Keeping perfect time it had been his faithful companion through the years.

Peter was known as a procrastinator and no amount of “perfect timing” could ever replace the amount of unfinished business that he had left undone. Years ago, well-meaning friends had given him “ A ROUND TUIT DISC” to hang from the rearview mirror of his motor vehicle. With a humorous set of instructions, the disc encouraged the owner to get around to doing things instead of procrastinating. Yes today was the day, and it was time to leave. He put on his Buffalo skin hat and strode purposefully towards his car. Breathing in the crisp morning air he looked back one last time to see the relentless sun scattering the last sleepy shadows as it flowed across the landscape revealing a plethora of magnificent colours and sights.

Rounding a bend in the road he never had a chance to avoid the oncoming car as it overtook a slower vehicle at speed and hit his vehicle head-on. Regaining consciousness a while later Peter became aware of the pain and the smell of oil, petrol and dust as they intermingled. Trapped in the wreckage, his faithful heart was pumping his life’s blood out of the gaping wound in his leg. There was no movement from the other vehicles as they too were nothing more than piles of scrap metal, victims of human error with their human occupants reduced to statistics and obituaries in the local newspaper.

In his last moments of life, all that he could see were his “round tuit” disc and his broken Seiko watch. As the fiery sun reached its zenith, time ran out and Peter went to be with his Lord and Savior, sadly leaving much unfinished business behind.

Dear believer, as you rise early and embrace “the Son” and inhale the goodness of this wonderful life He has given you, do not be slack in sharing this precious gift called salvation with others because, as Jesus said in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” The sands of time are running out for this world system as we fast approach “midnight”. Jesus’ instructions expressly apply to you and I in these last days and my question to you is; will you get “ around to it”, before it is too late? Tick..tock!


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This article has been read 460 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon03/13/08
I was hooked in by the story. Great vivid writing that was descriptive and captured the character of the protagonist.

I think the last paragraph was overly explanatory. I think it may have been better to illustrate what the character should have done. This could have strengthened the connection with the topic.
Norma-Anne Hough 03/13/08
Nice piece of writing my friend. Well done.
Love Norms
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson03/13/08
Quite an obituary. When you live in paradise it is so easy to let the minutes and the hours slip by ...
Good story. God bless you.
Jan Ackerson 03/13/08
Very good--I could readily picture the African dawn, and you wrote an interesting character study of Peter.

A few nitpicks: in this sentence...

Trapped in the wreckage, his faithful heart was pumping... it sounds as if his heart was trapped in the wreckage. And in the last sentence, you want "you and me" instead of "you and I".

I like the last paragraph which transforms this from an entertaining story to an apt devotional.
Joanne Sher 03/15/08
Lovely descriptions in the beginning especially - the character study is very good too. Keep writing.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/16/08
The beginning is filled with descriptive beauty; But the Meat of your story... including Topic, message, and point you're making comes in the last three paragraphs. The descriptive beauty just bogs down a busy reader with nonincidentals; "Brief & to the Point" - Magazine Editors have repeatedly told me through the years. {Just a thought to pass along for edification purposes.} I Loved your story, however! Nicely done.
Sheri Gordon03/20/08
Congratulations on your 2nd place. Your descriptions of the scenery were beautiful.
Catrina Bradley 03/24/08
Nice job - congratulations on 2nd place!