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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Banquet - deadline 8-16-12 10 am NY time (08/09/12)

TITLE: Not an Ordinary Banquet


Mary Ann was putting together her first banquet; a banquet that would be judged by several food judges. The money that she would earn from the banquet would be transferred to a fund for families who needed clothes and food and could also help her reach a goal she had been wanting for years; that of having her own catering business. Because it was her first banquet, Mary Ann wanted the occasion to be perfect.

After all, her mother taught her many ways to prepare and serve a meal, she had taken many courses in food preparation and this would be a way to show her mother, family and her new husband of three years, just how talented she was. And, since the banquet would be judged by several competent and professional judges, it might be an opportunity to start her own catering service.

So, as the days went on, Mary Ann diligently practiced her cooking skills and kept hope in her heart that she would be successful. At five feet, eight inches in height, with a medium frame and lovely brown hair that curved nicely around her face, she had a classic look of elegance and refinery that was unusual for most women her age.

Jim, her husband, loved her and thought she could do just about anything she put her mind to. In fact, he sometimes felt jealous she had so many talents. There were times when Mary Ann would explain why she and others had so many talents and referred to the Bible as her source of explanation. She would say, “Jim, in the Bible, a man trusted several people to take care of certain jobs while he was away. Some of the people did as they were told and because of their hard work, received several additional talents from him. However, there was one who knew that his boss was a hard taskmaster, so he buried his talent. Because he buried his talent, nothing positive happened, he received nothing in return and was banished from his boss’s sight."

“Yes, I vaguely remember that story. It’s a good one and gives an insight on the importance of using one’s talents for the glory of God. Good point!”

Later in the day Mary Ann continued with her plans for the banquet. Everything was coming along fine and she was anxious for the banquet to begin.

On the night before the banquet, Mary Ann was busy finishing up her menu plans and adding a few extra touches such as a lovely centerpiece of flowers and ornate candles and locating some lovely music on a nice CD that would add enjoyment to the menu.

For this event she also prepared a special dessert. It was something she had tried only once but she felt confident that it would work for this event. It was a mixture of pudding, pie and fruit. She found the recipe in an old cookbook of her mother’s and she was excited about trying it out on this occasion.

Two o’clock arrived and only one judge arrived. Around 2:30 Mary Ann began to get nervous because soon the food would spoil. She decided to let the judge who arrived early to take pictures and to gently sample some of the offerings.

Three o’clock came and still no other judges. Finally, around 3:30 the rest of the judges arrived but by then, the food was spoiled and had lost its flavor and luster. The food was; however, in serving trays and had been kept warm, as well as the dessert items in cool serving trays but still it was too late. The late judges said they were late due to slow traffic and they apologized several times for their lateness.

Since only one judge could give an accurate rating on the food and show pictures of the food, they took his comments and ratings and agreed, though hesitantly, to give Mary Ann a good rating and an opportunity to start out as a beginner with a catering company; but on one condition. That one condition was that she prepare a small luncheon for several important clients the following week. Mary Ann didn’t like the arrangement but it helped to save the day and make her dream of having a catering company, a reality.

In Mary’s mind, perseverance and using the talents that God gave her, brought her success and achievement.

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This article has been read 304 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/16/12
Nice conclusion. The ending of a story can make or break it...and your ending was clearly the former. The overall story extremely clever and right on topic.

God Bless~
Charla Diehl 08/17/12
Nice story with a clear message. This flowed smoothly and your ending paragraph wrapped it up with a godly bow.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/17/12
This is an interesting story. I've always heard that parable as the servants were given money. I really liked the talent instead. It's so true that if we hide our gifts away we can't ever get better or find we have more talents than we thought.

One thing I might suggest is to tighten your writing up a bit. You repeat some things in the second paragraph that you had already mentioned like professional judged and the dream of the catering company.

You covered the topic in an interesting way. The best part for me was to look at this story with fresh eyes. That's one of the reasons God calls us to write--to help people think about the scriptures and to hear them in a way that shows the Holy Spirit is at work.
Mildred Sheldon08/17/12
I enjoyed this very much. It was right on target. Thank you for sharing.