Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)
“You really ought to have one, Pa.”
“But I don’t want one of them,” the old man said from his couch by the fire.
“Like I said just now,” Simon insisted, “times have moved on. Everybody’s got one now.”
“I don’t want one,” Albert said.
“Some even have two, with one up in their bedroom for first thing in the morning. Think of that!”
“First thing in the morning, indeed! Not for me. No sir. I need some quiet to have time with the Lord. That’s what I need first thing.”
“OK, OK, Pa,” said Simon as he moved over to the window.
“I know you mean well, my lad. I know you’re both concerned about me.”
“Jill and I feel you haven’t got enough interests now you’re on your own. I mean, what do you do all day? Who do you talk to? How do you know what’s going on? Things have moved on, you know. It’s nearly the end of the twentieth century, Pa.”
“I hear the news every morning on my little wireless. If ’tis nice, I’m outside pottering around and see a few folk for a chat. I’m all right. Plenty of time on my own with the Lord – and my books.”
“Books!” Simon said. “We kids got fed up with you reading to us from your precious old books. That’s why we sneaked the latest paperbacks up to our bedrooms.”
Albert picked up his Bible. “The good Lord gave me fifty-odd lovely years with your Ma, Simon, and this precious book was our guide all the way through. It’s going to be my guide right to the end. In everything.”
Simon stared out of the window to hide his face. He vividly remembered their Bible reading after breakfast and the lovely way Ma used to pray for them.
“And I’ve got my good old Matthew Henry. Oh, the times his commentary has opened up the Word to my soul, Simon. Besides that, my friends take me down the chapel most Sundays.”
“Yes, Pa, I know all that,” Simon said as he came and sat by his father’s side. “But won’t you have a television even if we give you one?”
“I don’t need one, son. I don’t need one and I don’t want one! And that’s that.”
“But it would kind of take you out and about, see things, and see people – things you’ve never dreamt of doing. Think of that, Pa.”
“Oh yes?” Albert said.
“Just think. It would bring the world right into your living room!”
The old man almost leapt to his feet. “What did you say? It would do what?”
“I said it would bring the world into your living room, Pa.”
“So! If that’s what your television does, I’ll have nothing whatever to do with it. Bring the world into my living room indeed! No, no, no!”
The fire crackled loudly. Albert jabbed a log vigorously with the poker. Masses of sparks rushed up the chimney.
“Sorry, Pa. I get your message. I won’t mention it again. Promise.”
“As a wild teenager, my son, I got into the ways of the world and made a real mess, I tell you. Miraculously, the Lord Jesus rescued me from that awful way of life. Oh, so many times since, He’s warned me to keep that old world right out of my new life.”
He moved over and put his thin arm round the bowed shoulders of the young man beside him. “Don’t bring the world into this house, my son. Ever. Those things are all foreign stuff to me now.”
Giving him a hug, Simon got up to leave. “I love you, Pa.”
As soon as the door closed, the old veteran went down on his knees.
“O my Father, in your mercy, help me to keep my home unspotted from the world. Help me to set my affections on things above as your Word says. Amen.”
“Whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely…meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
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