Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)
TITLE: The Sign
By Michael Throne
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I’ve prayed about it, almost constantly lately, but I haven’t heard anything. Of course, what was I expecting? Some kind of sign, maybe a voice from the heavens? That’s the problem, right there. Even if God did try to tell me, how would I know?
I do admit, my heart’s all pumped up with the idea that I may have found my soul-mate and she happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, so it’s hard to hear anything through the euphoria I’m feeling. And even when I try to completely empty myself, to really listen, I inevitably find myself drifting back to her pretty smile, the warmth of her touch, and all I can think about is spending time with her.
It’s as if we’ve been predestined to be together forever.
Yesterday, I had all but decided; I was going to propose. I prayed about it. I prayed for almost an hour. I even asked God for a sign, any sign at all, but I heard nothing. Zip. Silence. As usual, I just couldn’t stop thinking about her, and all at once it hit me. That was the sign. Right there, in my own mind. After all this time, I was sure.
I took out my checkbook and went online to transfer the last of my savings over since, after all, not just any diamond ring was going to do, and then got in my car to drive to the jewelers.
I was distracted, clearly, from the excitement of the moment. I don’t know why, but I took a left on Fifth Street instead of a right and found myself staring at the front grill of a garbage truck coming straight at me; I was completely disoriented until I glanced up and noticed the “Wrong Way” sign. I slapped my forehead and dodged the truck, then took the first side street I could find, which was, unfortunately, a dead end.
I pulled over to the curb and sat a moment, gathering myself. I don’t know why I got so flustered; I’ve made the trip a thousand times, at least.
Turning back to Fifth Street, I stopped at the stop sign and then waited what seemed like an hour for a huge line of traffic that just kept coming, one car after the next, in what must have been the longest funeral procession in history. Eventually, I made my way onto the expressway to Middleburg. It’s funny, I hadn’t noticed before how depressing those billboards were along that stretch; there’s one advertising a family crisis hotline, then a big sign for a bankruptcy attorney, and one right after that promoting some unscrupulous divorce lawyer. What’s the world coming to, anyway?
When I got there, it turned out that the jewelry store was closed on Tuesdays. Just my luck.
So I headed back home and thought some more about my situation. In truth, there is one issue that bothers me more than any of the others; she’s not a believer. Oh, I’m almost certain that I can reason with her and show her by example once we’re married, but still, it does give one pause.
As I walked into my house, empty-handed, the phone was ringing. Amazingly, it was a friend I hadn’t seen since college. We chatted a while, catching up, and I felt almost compelled to ask him about my situation, since everyone I know around here is biased.
He listened as I told him all about how wonderful my girlfriend is, and then I mentioned a couple of my concerns. He asked a few questions. Afterward, he paused a long while and finally said, “I really think you need to pray about this some more.”
Great. A perfect opportunity for God to speak to me and he defers.
I did, though. I prayed some more. Not that it’s doing me any good, but it’s become a compulsion, lately. I can’t seem to stop.
“Please Lord,” I say, “give me a sign. Just one, that’s all.”
I wonder if he’s listening.
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