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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

By James Dick


A cute and alert little boy, Billy walked home from school thinking about what it was like to live in earlier times. The inquisitive second greater was on his way to talk with his dad about his day at school. It was a daily ritual.

The subjects of the week were History and Geography and he was full of questions. The class was studying Christopher Columbus and other early world explorers.

Billy’s class read about a time when science was in its infancy. It was hard to believe that people back then thought the world was flat. Why weren’t people smart back then? He knew Dad would have answers.

Arriving home, Billy waited patiently in the den for Dad, eager to see him. He heard him drive up, enter the house, and greet Mom. He knew Dad would be with him shortly, a highlight of their relationship.

Soon Dad walked into the room saying, “Ok, Billy, what questions do you have for me today?”

Billy opened with, “Well, Dad, how come people in the times of Columbus thought the world was flat? Why didn’t they know it was round?”

“Good question,” Dad answered. “It’s because science was so limited and there was no way to be sure. It took a man like Columbus brave enough to sail across the ocean to prove that he wouldn’t fall off. He and a number of other braves souls did just that”.

Dad continued, “They also didn’t fly airplanes or have satellites where they could actually see that the earth was round. Today with all of the things we have it would be foolish to believe the earth is flat.”

Billy’s eyes were wide when he said, “Oh, I see. So now we have science which can prove what is true and what is false. Right?”

“Good job, But remember that our answers can change as we gather more new and advanced information. It is an ongoing activity,” Dad said, following with, “So what else do you question, Son?”

“Well, Dad, now I’m a little confused”, Billy confessed. “”Cause if we have to prove everything, how do we know that God and Jesus are real? We really can’t see them, can we?”

Now Dad was smiling because he liked Billy’s inquisitive nature. He responded from his heart, saying, “Well, Son, faith is a little bit different. You are given the Bible and plenty of evidence that He exists, but not enough to reach the standard of scientific proof.”

He continued, “But that’s why we have the Holy Spirit, who lives within us in our heart and soul. And if we open ourselves up to the Spirit we just know, by faith, that God and Jesus exist and are one with the Spirit.. Did they ever teach you about the Holy Trinity in Sunday school, Billy?”

“Yes, sir, they did, ” Billy exclaimed, “but none of us really understood.”

Impressed with his son’s candor, he answered, “Well, Billy, God is made up of three parts: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. God the Father is the Big Guy, the One who started it all and manages things. The Son is God as Man on earth sent to save us from sin. And the Spirit, well, the Spirit is what infects us and guides us internally when we accept Jesus as our Savior. You might just call it your conscience.”

“Oh, I got it, Dad” the little boy smiled. “So when I just know inside that something is wrong it’s the Holy Spirit telling me so, right?”

“Bingo, Son, you’ve got it”, Dad beamed proudly.

“Well, Dad, this makes sense,” Billy pondered. “So God gave us science to learn about things that we need to prove but our faith is just something that we know from practice, just like practice at baseball. The more we practice, the better we get. God’s a pretty smart guy. I gotta’ listen to Him ‘cause He’s a lot smarter than I am. Gee, thanks, Dad, that’s all the questions for today.”

“It’s my pleasure, Son, you make me proud,” the happy father proclaimed.

And as Billy walked away, Dad knew his son was on the right track. He was learning that God is the most important thing in our life. And he silently thanked God in the Three for taking his special boy under wing.

And God watched with a smile on His heavenly face from above. His love shines brightly on those who love Him.

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Member Comments
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Phee Paradise 01/11/13
This was an interesting way to communicate your message about God and science. To me, it read more like a sermon illustration than a story. The only thing that didn't seem right was the way both the father and son talked - it seemed more like an adult conversation because of the language used. I like the way you ended it by making God part of the story, not just the object of conversation.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/14/13
This is a delightful read. You also have many messages in this piece. My favorite is how important as parents it is to teach our kids to ask questions and think for themselves. I have a daughter who was precocious just like Billy. Sometimes it could get a bit weary answering all of her questions but so important not to brush her off.

The only red ink I might offer is to work on more showing, especially in the beginning as it is important to grab the reader right away. For example show Billy's personality with something like this: Billy eyed the street lamp as he swung his body around it. He scratched his head as he wondered how someone in the old days could work without electricity.
That isn't a perfect example but I hope it shows what I mean about highlighting his personality.

I think you did a great job with the dialog between father and son. It felt real and I really liked how the father guided Billy, but Billy was the one who resolved the conflict. You also did a nice job of weaving the topic into the story.
C D Swanson 01/14/13
Nice job with presenting the topic. This was a well written piece and an interesting piece of reading. God bless~