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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)

TITLE: Ray and His Three Crosses
By
08/20/06


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In the last twenty years Ray had been carrying many crosses—a mother-in-law who detested him because his joint restaurant venture wasn’t good enough position for her daughter, a brother who was always competing with him in the family’s and a sister who just wanted him out of the way…

What was a man of forty-two years to do with such situations? He tried being nice to his mother-in-law by having her over often and buying her nice gifts but nothing was ever good enough.

With his brother, John, he tried to shoulder more than his fair share of responsibilities. He worked overtime, did a lot of traveling for his brother and even worked on his days off, just to please him.

His sister, Eileen, treated him a little bit better but she still harbored resentment toward him because he got so much more attention as a child and that was something she couldn’t forgive.

So, what was he to do? He had always been a “people pleaser” and having O.C.D. didn’t help matters; he just wanted to be liked and appreciated. But, all this “people pleasing” was killing him and he had to do something about it.

The answer came to him—simple and sweet; in fact it was too good to be true. And, it had been staring him in the face for years. He had turned to this answer years ago, but had forsaken it and blamed it on not having enough time.

And so one cloudy day, he went into his bedroom, closed the door, opened his large closet, closed the door and sat down. He began to pray…”Lord, I know that it’s been a long time and I haven’t really talked to you like I used to but, please hear me out..I need help. People in my family don’t want me around, have used me for years and think that I’m not doing enough. But, in fact, I’ve been ‘killing” myself for years trying to do my best for them all. What can I do? I can’t go on like this, pleasing everyone and killing me!”

He waited for what seemed a very long time and then an answer came, “Be still and know that I am the Lord thy God. Do what you can and what is right and leave the rest for me. If they are still dissatisfied with you, let them come to me. I will take care of them all!”

Ray sat there, smiled and a peace came over him that was unexplainable. How simple the solution; how beautiful was God!


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This article has been read 691 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany08/24/06
What I like-I like your voice throughout. I like the flow to this piece and taking cross and using it the way you did.

What I might change - sometimes the usage of ... was distracting, some people might not know what OCD is ( I do) but it could confuse some, and the I loved the verse you used - one of my favorites. I might rework the last sentence too. Just my thoughts for whatever!
Edy T Johnson 08/28/06
Now I'd like to read more. I love Ray who is like so many of us, trying to carry burdens the Lord never intended. Very nice writing job, thank you.
david grant08/30/06
Thank you for sharing this. I feel a lot like Ray at times. If OCD is trying to please everybody all the time and never feeling you do or can, than you have tagged me. Thanks.
Jan Ross08/30/06
Yes! I think we all have a few of those "crosses" as well! If we would just learn to do as Ray learned, "Be still ..." Nice work! :)