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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)

TITLE: the general's war
By kelechi ajoku


I have a tale to tell. If you like happy endings then you’ll like this story.
It’s the story of a man who had it all: power, money, and fame. He was the second most powerful man in his country, a decorated war general. But he was about to face a challenge beyond his might; a war he could not win, an enemy he could not conquer.
It started so subtly… he noticed a tiny hypo pigmented spot on his abs. “ Maybe it’s an itch or a rash.” He applied the best topical medication he could find, but the spot grew bigger. It kept on growing bigger, so he decided to see the presidential doctor. “You’ll be fine general, we’ll run a couple of tests and figure out what the problem is”. The general was optimistic, always was. He had to be, to survive in his line of work and make it to the top. But nothing prepared him for the bombshell the doctor was about to drop: “General… you have a malignant skin lesion. There’s no cure for the disease I can’t really say how long you’re going to live...”
The powerful had become powerless. In a few months all would be gone. The people, who bowed down to him, will no longer bow down to him. In a little while he would no longer be able to caress his wife or kiss his daughter on her cheeks, goodnight. The great man will become society’s outcast.
For days the house was quiet. The servant girl noticed it all. “They no longer look happy but they still love each other. Maybe I should tell them…”
The next morning as they were preparing breakfast she whispers to her mistress: “I know someone who can help. He’s a prophet back home in …” The general’s wife is unable to hold back her tears: “Please don’t make me believe the impossible. Don’t tell me there’s hope when all is lost.” The servant girl is afraid, she doesn’t want to upset her mistress: “ I’m sorry, but I think it might be the general’s only chance.”
Later that night as they’re about to go to bed, the general’s wife looks into his eyes: “Darling, there’s a chance that things could work out… the servant girl speaks of a man who serves God in her home country…” The general looks at his wife. “ I’ve fought all my life, I don’t think I can fight this. I can’t win but because I love you I’ll give it a shot”
Thus the journey began to a land not far away. He arrives in the capital city with his convoy of limousine and Bentley chariots waiting. “ A man with such power must be the ruler of this poor nation”
To his chagrin the man of God is not in the palace. However the quest continues. As he follows the trail that’s to lead to the man of God, he meets a man on the way: “Hi! The prophet sent me. He says to tell you that all you’ve got to do is dip yourself in the Jordan seven times.” That was the moment he freaked out: “WHAT? I’ve got state of the art pools and Jacuzzis back home. You won’t find me dead or alive in no filthy Jordan river”
At that moment one of his personal assistants decides to speak up and bare his heart. Usually he’s afraid of the general, but at this moment he can’t but speak. “ General, what if the man had asked you to do a hard thing?” Perhaps that’s what makes obedience difficult. It would make a lot more sense if God demanded from us the impossible. You’re faced with a mountain and God says, “have faith”. You’re faced with so many issues and you want to do this and do that about it, and all God offers you is rest from your worries…can life be that simple? To overcome the most difficult of life’s challenges God just asks that we obey his word… really is it that simple?
Then sometimes it’s not logical…
I’m sorry for the diversion… back to our story. The general did what he was asked to do and his skin was as fresh as new. That’s the beauty of obedience…when we obey God’s word we tell him that we don’t know any better than Him, and we invite him to take the darkest of situations we face and turn it around for new…

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