Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Rattled (05/09/13)
TITLE: I'm All Shook Up
By djvenzke Venzke
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When I was real young, still one hundred percent dependent on others, I learned how to get attention. A pout and squall and I’d get fed, repositioned, or get my diaper changed. Sometimes I was bored or lonely and I’d summon my care givers. Then there were times when nothing mom did stopped my squalling. I guess I was just stuck on auto-squall.
Mom was smart. She figured out how to snap me out of those tantrums. She’d pick up my favorite toy, give it a shake and know I would reach for it. It was a plastic rattle, a blue one because I was a boy. I would grasp its handle and shake it so the encased beads in the bulbous end made that intriguing sound I loved. My crying would usually stop.
I outgrew that rattle, actually gave it to my little brother one day when his crying was bugging me to no end.
Through the years I have been rattled by other attention grabbers, some good and some bad. Both God and satan are skillful rattlers. God rattles to get my attention when I’ve strayed. Satan rattles to distract me when I am on the right track.
Usually I wasn’t aware that I needed to be rattled. Recently I found out that my medicine controlled diabetes and cholesterol issues were still doing internal damage. Silently, year by year, the stage was being set for a heart attack. Satan stood by quietly, anticipating my early demise. But God rattled my cage. Through a concerned doctor, God placed nitroglycerin pills in my pocket two days before my attack. My life was spared. My complacency was rattled. Life style changes resulted.
I live in desert west Texas. A well known denizen of these parts is the rattlesnake. When I walk in rural areas I dread that I might come near a snake and not hear its rattled warning. I am hard of hearing since birth and I don’t always wear hearing aids.
I also worry that I won’t recognize when satan rattles after I’ve been too good as far as he is concerned. His rattles come in many forms, temptations and accusers to mention just two. He’s a sneaky enemy and I have to be ever vigilant.
I’ve been rattled by events and circumstances whose source is not initially evident. Are they roadblocks to turn back from or to push through? In those times I am so thankful that God’s Holy Spirit is my hearing aid.
I am now in the autumn of my life. Several decades have passed since the rattle in my life was a plastic toy. In each of those decades my quiet life has been rattled occasionally and changed for the better or temporarily the worse. But through it all, I’ve seen that God is faithful. Sometimes He has had to shake the rattle very loudly to get my attention, but that’s okay. Whatever it takes, Lord, that’s okay with me.
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