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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)

TITLE: Part Time Prodigal
By Gary Morris


You may not know me, but Iím sure you have heard of my family. My father is the one who had the two sons, one of which asked for his half of what was coming to him. He took his share of dadís possessions and crossed the border into a town where he could live it up.

He eventually spent all he had and was forced to take a job with a pig farmer. His salary was far below minimum wage and to make up for it, he literally ate the slimy slop with pigs in order to survive. He had sunk so deep into the mire that it was hard to distinguish him from the pigs.

Finally, he got tired of that lifestyle and headed back across the border to dadís house to look for work with the servants. You know the rest of the story. Dad cleaned him up, bought him a new wardrobe and threw a party in his honor. Thatís just like my father.

Dadís other son was jealous over all the attention his brother was getting and didnít approve of all the hoopla. He caused quite a scene as he attempted to put a damper on the festivities.

Well, Iím the younger son who was born after the book was written, long after Dr. Luke had filed Chapter Fifteen. I grew up seeing the obvious dispute between my two brothers. They both shared their story frequently and this often led into heated arguments between the two.

ďI have been faithful to dad and the family my entire life, and look what I get for it. I have to put up with the ĎprodigalíĒ!

He deals with jealously to this day.

ďI admit I made many mistakes and have done so many horrible things, but Iím so thankful for the fatherís mercy. Iím so thankful to be back in the family!Ē

I think he truly was grateful, but I wanted to know more. I would try and catch him off guard and ask him about life across the border. For some reason, I was so intrigued by his story and couldnít wait to go and see for myself.

I didnít want to leave home, but something from that far away place had fascinated me. I just had to see for myself.

Finally, one night I secretly packed for a picnic and headed out. I certainly wasnít going to eat the slop that my brother had described. The thought of that turns my stomach. Food from the pantry at dads would suffice until I returned.

Actually, with the speed of these modern times, I could be home before anyone missed me. No one would ever know of my secret trips.

Yes, I made more than one. After a visit or two, I learned that I could sneak away and enjoy my new found friends who, by the way, many of them knew my brother.

I met many types of people, and they all seemed so glad to see me. I participated in their games and partook of their spread without ever thinking about home. For the life of me, I couldnít understand why my brother had to eat slop.

Faithful as clockwork, the bright rays of the risen son awoke my consciousness and I raced home to shower and cleanse myself of the stench before anyone noticed.

Before long I had the ritual down to a science. I had memorized the formula to cover my guilt and subconsciously prayed as I showered away the filth of the foreign land.

Then one auspicious day my father pulled me to the side.

ďSon, what do they have there that is worth wasting time and wealth that I have provided you? Your picnic stains are permanently staining your suit. Iíve ordered you a new one that should arrive at any time.Ē

I knew I had been busted. My tears of shame collided with his tears of mercy as we embraced and he gently kissed my cheek.

The declaration of my guilt was quite relieving, and I was so happy to see those old suits carried away with the worn picnic basket. My new clothes fit perfectly. Now I feel like a brand new man, with no baggage to lag.

I talk to my father often about those held in that foreign country against their will, and he has assured me that he has a plan for their release.

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This article has been read 216 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/13/12
Wow- great job with this entry. I love Biblical characters and stories come to light...and this one was a well written one.

Excellent job. Thank you.

God Bless~
Myrna Noyes07/13/12
This was a fresh, imaginative look at a familiar Bible story! :)
Mildred Sheldon07/14/12
I loved how you drew the reader into the story. A new spin on the Prodigal. Very well written. Thank you and God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/17/12
This is a brilliant idea. I think it is quite creative and out of the box.

I think some may think it is weak on topic but I believe there is a reason God had you write this. I'd encourage you to polish it up some and add more details. I think it would be a great children's story. Though it may need some work with typos like dads instead of Dad's I also think you have a great deal of potential with this story. it would be perfect for a Sunday school take home sheet.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/23/12
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level 2!