Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: New Year (05/09/05)
TITLE: My Blank Cheque
By Anthony David
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It was 11.00 PM on the 31st of December. As I was getting ready to go to the Midnight worship service, I began to think. “ What is so special about this New Year for me? Isn’t it just another routine for us? I have seen quite a few New Years and perhaps will see some more too. Does this make a difference to me?” Continuing to think critically, I made my way to the church.
I spotted a girl selling flowers on the sidewalk near the church. Her hair was unkempt and she had a dirty and torn dress. Yet, she was smiling like a cherub.
On an impulse, I bent down and picked up a few long-stemmed roses from her. She smiled brightly as she took the money. “What do you make of this New Year?” I queried as she gave me the change. “More sales, more money to take home, more food, perhaps medicine for my sick Momma.” she murmured softly.
After the service, I ran into a young man. We greeted each other and before he could turn away, I questioned him, “ Jacob, what do you make of this New Year?” Jacob breathed deeply and said, “ Well…It’s going to be a very special year for me. I’m going to get married to Emma this year. Please do come for the wedding!”
At the coffee stall I met middle aged man. “Brother Sam,” I asked, “ what does the New Year mean to you?” Sam cleared his throat. He thought awhile before declaring, “I look back with some gratitude at all I could do for Gad last year, and look forward to doing more this year, for myself, the Lord and the Church!”
Uncle Reggie was just around. I greeted him and asked, “What does the New Year mean to you Uncle, You must have seen quite a few now?” He smiled and twitched his bushy eyebrows. “It’s a time when I annually look back into the past thanking God for blessing me despite my foolishness. It’s also a time when I look forward to being less of a fool with God’s help!” He boomed with a twinkle in his eye.
Still musing I began to walk out into the street. As I turned a corner, I saw the Home for the destitutes and just walked in. I found a pitiable sight.
One shriveled old man was struggling to cover himself with a ragged blanket. I strode close to him and whispered. Old man, what do you make of the New Year?” He opened his eyes. I was surprised at how bright his eyes gleamed. “My dear young man,” He croaked in a dreary tone, “ It is not a new year that I love. Every new day is special to me My Creator has given me today to live. It’s a blank cheque for me. I don’t know how many more of them I’ll get. So, I’m careful of this one. How about you?”
Back home, I continued to muse. The destitute old man’s question resounded in my mind…”What about you?’
Finally, I bowed my head and submitted my thoughts to God. “Father God”, I prayed, “ I thank you for the New Year you’ve presented to me. Keep me from all sin and temptation. Protect me from all harm and danger. Prod me onward to serve you and extend your Kingdom. Use me and make me effectively serve You. I thank you for each new month, week, day, hour minute and moment of this coming New Year. I submit them all to You My Lord! Amen.”
I opened my eyes and knew what I should do. Picking up a hot meal from an all-night restaurent, I ambled back to the Home, and sought out the old man. “He will surely like the meal” I thought as I neared the Home, making use of me new blank cheque of a day!
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