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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: In Progress
By Hiram Claudio
11/23/11


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“Season’s Greetings Tony!”

“Thanks Bill.”

Tony and Bill have been good friends since they were kids. They have worked in the same office for many years now. It was the last day of work before the office closed for the Christmas holidays.

“You seem bothered. Whatcha working on Tony?”

“Trying to get this new insurance software program installed before leaving the office. It’s being real annoying. Seems like it knows I have things to do at home.”

“Take it easy my friend. These downloads can take time. No sense in getting all rattled about it. That sure won’t make it happen any faster.”

“I guess. Just seems like it takes so long. And while waiting all I get is this stupid message.”

“What message?”

“You know. The one that tells you, ‘Download in Progress. Please don’t interrupt as this may cause damage to your files.’ Okay, I get it. I won’t touch nothing. Just hurry up already.”

“Hmmm. You know, it makes a very good life point with that comment.”

“Life point! What do you mean?”

“This is the Christmas. A time of year when most people, even the crabby and grumpy ones are more pleasant. And we hear all around us about ‘Peace on Earth.’”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, its like with the Christmas season, God is trying to download peace and joy into people’s hearts. They are nicer to others, more giving overall, and basically wind up living a life that is more in keeping with how the Bible says we should live.”

“Okay.”

“And then they wonder why the feeling ends with the New Year’s holiday. Seems to me that God was trying to download peace into their lives but they interrupted it by going back to the same old way of living. They return to being intolerant and impatient and just not very nice. They were following God’s ways and, when they did, peace was filling their lives and then … they stop the process and wonder what happened.”

“Interesting point. I guess if you want the benefit of a way of living, like with the software, you should let it all get downloaded and installed properly in your heart.”

“So true my good man. Except with things like peace and joy, that download process not only takes time but maturity, so you can really let it get planted deep inside you. Basically until it’s installed properly.”

“But how would you know if it is?”

“Well, I guess one way is to not let the downloading of an insurance program to get you all uptight when it takes a long time.” Bill playfully winks at Tony.

Tony grinned back, “Funny. Okay, message received. Fair point.”

With that, the program finished downloading and returned an error message saying that a problem occurred in the transmission process. It instructed him to start the process over from the beginning.

Tony just stared at the screen. At first he started to fume and then thought about what he and Bill were just discussing.

Turning to Bill, “Well, it didn’t work. Says I have to start all over.”

“Oh gee man, I’m sorry.”

“You know what? No problem. It’ll be here after Christmas. I’m going home and enjoy the many blessings I have. Not gonna let this interrupt my peace. At least not today.”

Bill smiled. “Looks like that download process in you is working just fine.”

Tony smiled back. “Merry Christmas, my friend.”

“Merry Christmas Tony.”


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This article has been read 247 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 12/01/11
I really enjoyed this entry! It was up to date with the current "season" and you stayed on topic in a clever way.

I liked the interchange between the two MC's - and the way it ended.

Good message and great job with this! God is always doing an inner work on us, we just need to be mindful and hear His voice-as you so clearly illustrated in your dialogue.

Loved it. God Bless~
Nancy Bucca 12/01/11
I enjoyed this story and its message very much. God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/03/11
I enjoyed this Christmas message that we should remember all year long.

I've heard it said that it's not best to start a story with a quote. I don't always agree but in this case I wondered who the characters were. I know you described it in the next paragraph but perhaps if after one said "Seasons Greetings" you had added Tony embraced his old friend... not only would that tighten your writing it also would show the reader what was going on.

You did a great job of really making your story about the topic. You couldn't have told the story without it and that's the purpose of writing on topic.

I enjoyed the dialog. It felt realistic and flowed easily. The ending was wonderful. It made the story come full circle and left me with a good feeling.
Jennifer Dawn Suchey 12/03/11
I'm not sure I agree with "never starting a story with a quote". I haven't heard that before and do it often, so I guess I'm going to have to research that one!

However, I get what Shann is saying as far as getting to know the characters. You could do a lot more "showing" in this story to bring it to life. Phrases like "Bill playfully winks at Tony" ... and "Tony grinned back" SHOW us what the characters are doing and adds more interest to the story.

I wondered if anyone would include Christmas into a story and I'm glad you did.

Nice job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/16/11
Congratulations for ranking 6th in your level!