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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: It's Not My Calling
By Jesus Puppy


Itís not my calling

As the predawn light first began to grace the sky, Jason woke in a cold sweat, a half-remembered dream still lingering in the back of his mind. Unlike so many in the past years, it was not one of endless running or the doom of Man in the last days, but of a calling he never received in his old life-- the call to save the lost souls of a dying world gone mad.

In the vision he stood in front of a small group of people and proclaimed the blessings of God, as he taught the Lord's will-- that all would find peace in seeking Him. The faces gathered before him began to shine with hope as they heard the gospel message spoken plain from his humbled heart.

He made himself busy about the little camp and forced the distraction of his thoughts back to the day ahead. As he bundled his light possession in a blanket, Jason's memory flashed to his youth. When he would play such games as Cops and Robbers after school, or hearing the distant sound of a fire engine and dream it was him as it raced across town to save the day.

Such childhood dreams still brought a smile, until he realized he was now the wanted man, only for realizing a better dream.

He could remember the look on his parents faces as they sat through church, and how it changed from one of awe to that of grief as his father would turn to him and his brother Phillip and silence their childish laughter. Then years later, to an argument with his sister as she tried to get him to accept Christ.

"You become the family preacher, Jan," he had said, adding a note of sarcasm, "Itís not my calling in life."

"How do you know what you're called to do, Jason, when you won't even listen to the simple truth?"

The light of day grew brighter and Jason looked out across the high plains of Wyoming, waiting for the others to finish an early meal before starting into the hills. Five families, add the young woman and child he brought back from Lincoln City, and the group was nearly too large to hide. Since the government sought to capture any Christians, it was all they could do to reach the safety of the mountains-- finding a way south was their only hope.

Seeing the people getting about in the morning air, Jason remembered a summer mission trip to Africa. He felt his wife had tricked him at the time. He loved Sarah with all his heart, and would do anything to make her happy. Spending a month in the jungle of Africa was a hard stretch of love, but he survived the trip, and he did come to enjoy helping. Now, Sarah was gone with so many other Christians; all he had left was a memory and the desire to set things right at last.

"We had real preachers then," he thought, "and actual doctors to help the sick. Now . . . "

He glanced around the stream side camp and watched the two other guides helping the families get ready. Brave souls volunteering to guard the lives of innocents that sought peace. Slowly gathering packs and bedrolls, they prepared for another long day's hike. It was a hard life, but seeing the children smile made each day worth it.

His eyes scanned the gathered people, some standing, others sitting on their belongings, all waiting for a word to begin. Jason was once more reminded of his dream and the message he was given.

"I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." *

Slowly he brought the group together, and with raised hands and bowed head, he prayed for them. Then, as in his vision, Jason began to teach of his loving God.

* Psalms 22:22 KJV from.. from Ellis Maxima Bible Library Ver 6.0, Copyright- 1988-2001 by Ellis enterprises, Inc.

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This article has been read 1047 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane12/08/06
I enjoyed this Ė very different take on the subject of pastor. Good use of contrasts building up to a punchy finale. I did feel that there were too many flashbacks and on the first read through I had some difficulty in keeping track of whether I was reading of the past, present or future.
Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
"...a hard stretch of love..." Now THAT's a great turn of phrase!
Sally Hanan12/09/06
Good writing, good plot and good ending. Like the other reader, I found it difficult to follow timewise. I'll try and send you a revised version if I get a chance so you can see the difference.
Jesus Puppy 12/09/06
Perhaps a foot note to say.. In a Not so distant future. It could very well be tomorrow.
william price12/10/06
Very good, true, honest, well communicated writing. I liked your opening as well. Not a big fan of dream stories, but you pulled it off wonderfully. Some masterful lines too. God bless.
Catrina Bradley 12/11/06
Wonderful! Loved the flashbacks. When I was reading, I had the same thought you did - this could be next week! Scary.
Joanne Sher 12/12/06
Your language is so beautiful - it truly paints a portrait of your scene. Excellent detail as well - I truly enjoyed this.
Sandra Petersen 12/12/06
Thanks for the hint in finding your article. I'm glad I did. I wonder how many are prepared for the times of persecution and hardship (not just having no money to pay for food or shelter but like those in your story, perhaps fleeing for their lives).

The bigger message is that when the Lord has given us a calling we do well to listen and obey. Thanks for sharing this and causing me to think more clearly.
Leigh MacKelvey12/12/06
I. too, liked the flashbacks and the story intriqued me
as I saw how it will be ! I also liked the setting ..somewhere, anywhere ..
different from New Jesery! I liked the western scenerio. Great job with this piece!
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/13/06
Great story! Just a couple of minor grammar things, but well done.