Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)
TITLE: Mind Games
By Cheryl Harrison
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Bright lights illuminated the stage. Neon lasers danced around the arena. The revolving stage slid to a stop and Echo, securely fastened in the think-about-it chair, dropped from the ceiling. The arena erupted with applause as she and the chair landed safely on the floor.
"Let the games begin!" the spokesperson shouted.
Faceless voices cheered from every corner as teleprompters led them in a chant.
"Take it C-A-P-T-I-V-E!"
A virtual timer indicated that twenty seconds remained in phase one. Echo's mind reeled.
Her thoughts collided with one another. <i>Don't give up now. You must choose.</i>
Seconds elapsed, causing the atmosphere to become electric with anticipation.
Echo took note of the time remaining on the clock. <i>Ten seconds. It's now or never.</i>
"Nine, eight, seven," the crowd gleefully counted down, "six, five, four. . ."
Echo's blood pressure rose with each tick of the timer. Her pulse quickened.
<i>What was I thinking? Did I really sign up for this? Alright mind, don't fail me now."</i>
The countdown continued, "three, two. . ."
"Repetitive thoughts," Echo shouted. "Yes, that's what I choose -- repetitive thoughts." She pushed the appropriate button and the crowd became quiet.
R.E. Peat, the beloved <i>Mind Games</i> host answered his queue. With unmatched flair he took center stage, purposely paused for effect, and then announced Echo's current standing in the challenge.
"Well young lady, aren't you the master of suspense. I didn't think you were going to make it."
The arena tittered with laughter.
He continued, "Echo, with one second to spare, you successfully captured a thought. Are you ready for phase two?"
Echo closed her eyes. It helped her to think better. "I'm ready Mr. Peat," she answered.
Mr. Peat teased the crowd, "Here we go!" With a practiced hand he accessed Echo's captured thought. He touched the screen and her thought was displayed for all to see.
The lights dimmed.
Mr. Peat's deep voice eased her tension. "Echo, good job! Your capture scored exceptionally high on the repetitive thought meter. Prepare yourself. Phase two begins now."
Echo blocked out all voices, except the one she needed most. She listened intently for guidance. A fleeting thought passed through her mind. <i>Remember the truth.</i>
Mr. Peat spoke in even tones. "Echo, it seems that you revisit this thought frequently. Do you recognize it?"
Mr. Peat read outloud, "I can't do this. I'm not smart enough. I don't have the ability. I might as well give up."
Mr. Peat paused once more for effect and then inquired, "Echo, what is your response?"
The silence in the arena was deafening.
Echo hesitated. <i>I know this. Come on, think.</i>
The crowd murmured. Off-stage, a camera panned from Echo to Mr. Peat and then back to Echo.
"Time is almost up," Mr. Peat declared. "Do you have an answer?"
Echo sorted through her childhood memories. <i>I know I learned this in Sunday school.</i>
She recalled a faint memory of Miss Adeline, her Sunday school teacher. Miss Adeline drilled the class in scripture memorization. <i>What is that verse? I should remember it.</i>
Suddenly it dawned on her. "I know how to defeat this deceptive thought. . ."
Echo's voice trailed off. The crowd encouraged her to continue. "Go for it Echo!"
Echo recited Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
The crowd jumped to their feet. They chanted another familiar verse. "The truth shall set you free!"
Mr. Peat congratulated Echo on her victory. "Echo, the truth has set you free!"
With that, the think-about-it chair released Echo. She stepped down and followed a stream of light toward the exit. Her heart overflowed with joy.
The crowd settled back into their seats as Mr. Peat continued, "Congratulations Echo. We'll see you again soon." He turned to the audience and reminded them, "Tune in next time as Echo takes on another <i>Mind Games</i> challenge."
Mr. Peat's voice faded behind Echo. She grinned at the thought.
<i>Victory is sweet! One down . . . who knows how many to go.</i>
<i>We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.</i>
(2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)</center>
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