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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Faith to Let Go
By John Telgren


"Arrrrgh! Me do it! Go away!"

Adam was determined to do it all by himself. His mother, Ruah, had tried to sit her tiny son on her lap to guide him through the process. She thought that Adam might have ODD and had him tested. He did not have ODD after all. He was just stubborn.

The incident that sent them to the doctor to get tested for ODD was three years ago. The school regularly had problems with Adam. Ruah cringed every time her cell phone would ring during work. It was either her mother in Omaha, or it was the school calling about Adam.

"Mrs. Ruah Devine?"

"Yes, can I help you?"

"This is Mrs. Granger at Crossway Academy. We have a problem with Adam and need you to come and get him."

She sighed, "What did he do this time?"

"Well, it was time to come in from the playground and he refused. We tried to coax him inside, but nothing work. When Miss Thompson held out her hand to him, he bit it and took a chunk of skin with it. Miss Thompson had to go to the hospital."

That was his last day. They asked her not to bring him back.

Ruah watched Adam twist his shoestrings around his fingers, holding his tongue out of the corner of his mouth in concentration.

"Son, you are going to get it into a knot. Here, let me…"

"No!" shouted Adam, "Adam do it!" Adam ran across the room.

Pursing her lips in frustration, Ruah answered, "Fine. Do it yourself." With that, Ruah went to fix breakfast.

A few moments later, she heard a frustrated growl followed by a scream from down the hall. She wanted to run down the hall, but stopped herself. She paused and listened. Then she heard Adam's familiar "Arrrrgh!"

Silence. Then the sound of sobs.

"Mommy! Me can't do it!" Adam sobbed.

"Do you need help Adam?" She replied.

"Yes," said Adam, as he held back his sobbing "please help me Mommy!"

Adam looked up and saw his mother standing in his doorway with her hands over her mouth. She just stood there a moment looking at him, trying not to laugh. Adam's fingers were tangled in his shoestrings. He was stuck. She gathered her composure and looked straight in his eyes and said, "Adam if you want me to help, then you have to let me show you how to do it without interrupting me. You can't run away. You can't argue. Do you understand?"

"Yes mommy." Replied Adam.

With that, she picked Adam up and sat him in her lap. After gracefully undoing the knot and freeing his fingers, she took his hands in hers and guided them through the process of tying his shoes. Adam started to protest, but a stern look from his mother silenced him. After she finished, she said,

"Adam, we are going to need to do this several times until you are comfortable with doing this yourself? Do you understand?"

"Yes mommy. Can I go eat breakfast now?" asked Adam.

"Yes, Adam. Why don't we……"

"What are you thinking about?"

"Huh?" said Adam

"Are you ready to go on?" asked Dr. Dodd. "It looks like your mind was a million miles away."

"Oh," said Adam "Actually, my mind was about 40 years away. I was thinking of my mother."

"Well, it's time. Dr. Winklestein just gave your introduction." Said Dr. Dodd.

Dr. Adam Land stepped up to the podium.

"Control," he began as he looked at the overflow conference crowd, "It is an illusion. That is something I had to learn at a very early age. There is a reason why the Bible says to be still and know that he is God. The more we try to control things, the more frustrated and rebellious we became. I know because I was a very stubborn child. My stubborn tendency caused me to become angry, bitter and frustrated. When I became older, I finally learned what faith was all about. It is about letting go of control. It is about letting God guide your hands, your feet, your heart, and your mind. And so, let's open our Bibles…."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/07/06
Very clever way of getting to your point. Good work.
Jan Ackerson 02/09/06
Love the transition to the grown-up Adam. In the first half, there are a few POV shifts that you might consider editing. As one who works with ODD and difficult students, it's refreshing to read about one who turns out all right!