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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: The Associates
By Clyde Blakely
02/07/08


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Buzzzz

“Yes, Sir?”

“Send in the next applicant.”

“Right away, Sir.”

Knock, knock.

“Enter.”

Manuel hesitantly opens the door. Tired, feeling hopeless, and seeking satisfaction with his life. He has decided to check out this boss some of acquaintenances recommended. Entering into a well lit room he notices the name plate on the desk, “J. Jireh”.

“Thank you Mr. Jireh for seeing me today.”

“Please have a seat.”

“Thank you.”

Reviewing the resume, “Manuel Powers, PhD in Philosophy majoring in World Religions, CEO of a Washington think tank, Presidential advisor, and university lecturer. What is it you seek with my organization?”

“Several acquaintances have recommended I speak with you. About…well, about life.”

“Yes.”

“Uh, yes, about…well…you see I’m not really satisfied with my position right now…in life…and…well…they tell me your organization is a good place to work.”

“The best, guaranteed.”

“Guaranteed?”

“Guaranteed!”

Impressed, he follows, “How’s your 401K plan?”

“There is none.”

“None?”

“None.”

“Health insurance?”

“None.”

Manuel ponders the crisp replies. Glances at the door, then resumes, “Vacation time?”

“None.”

Pausing to regroup his thoughts, he continues, “Sick leave?”

“None.”

“Uh, 40 hours a week I assume.”

“Nope, 24/7.”

“24/7! Is this a joke?”

“Nope, 24/7.”

“I’m not exactly sure I want to be part of this type of organization to be truthful Mr. Jireh.”

“Understood. Can I ask you a few questions?”

“Sure.”

“You said you are not satisfied with your position in life. Correct?”

“Well…yes.”

“And acquaintances recommended this organization?”

Manuel knows that he knows this so why ask the question. He nods ‘yes’ anyway.

“Are they happy?”

He’s not sure where this is all going. Everything’s confusing so far but there’s something there…he decides to hear more. “I assume they are…well, yes, they really are!”

“And they all are part of this organization.”

“With no time off, or 401K, health insurance, vacation or sick pay?” replies Manuel.

“That’s true but there is more.”

“More?”

“Yes. Their backgrounds and expertise did not bring them happiness. The same as yours.”

Mr. Jireh pauses to let Manuel absorb this.

“I’m not sure I understand. They are all very successful in their fields.”

“As successful as you?”

“Yes, some but not all of them.” Manuel considers what he has just said. Some of the people he knows who are associated with Mr. Jireh’s organization have seen failures in their professions, yet regained they happiness and joy of living; as content in life as those who have not suffered similar loss. And they are all successful in life.

“Go on,” Manuel knows there is something here but he can not yet recognize it.

“The one thing you are seeking in life I can offer you.”

Mr. Jireh now has Manuel Powers’s full attention, “I offer you abundant life.”

“Abundant life?! Life! That’s what I’m not happy with and you want to give me ‘abundant life’. I was looking for success…not more of the same!”

“The life I offer you is not as the world gives. My life is characterized by love, joy, peace, and much more.”

Manuel recognizes now why he came here. He saw these traits in his acquaintenances. Yes, that’s it!

Mr. Jireh notes the change of expression, realizing Manuel has made the connection.

“Would you like to part of this organization? To become part of my family?”

“I’m not sure I can give up everything I’ve worked for. I’m not sure if I can succeed like the others have.”

“Everything you have, give it to me. I will use it through you. Everyone must do the same.”

“But I’ve known many of these people for years. Some even before they joined your organization. Most never gave up their jobs, their positions, their possessions!”

“But they did.”

Manuel again is lost.

“When they chose to follow me, I used everything they gave me to further this organization and in return gave to them the blessings of abundant life.”

“You mean the love, joy, peace…?”

Mr. Jireh smiles. Manuel is close.

“I will have to think about this.”

“You already have. That’s why you are here,” Manuel softly says.

The one time in Manuel’s life, he “knows” this is the truest truth he has ever heard. How does he know me so well? “But I don’t know how.”

“Follow me. I will provide the way.”

Manuel hears, He’s the Provider. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “Yes, Lord, I do want to be associated with You.”


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This article has been read 539 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/09/08
Clever idea! I like the name--"God provides!"

This could probably be tightened up a bit, and I think this kind of story works best in past tense.

I appreciate your creativity!
Joanne Sher 02/10/08
A clever take on the topic - enjoyed the banter back and forth - and I love the "CEO's" name.

Caught some tense and POV shifts.

Enjoyed this read!
Sara Harricharan 02/12/08
This was interesting! I liked the easy dialouge and how it flowed with the one word answers of "none" that was funny! I was chuckling near the end and enjoyed the read. There was one typo I noticed in the beginning, where I think a word was missing when he was thinking about the aquaintances who had referrered him. Otherwise, good job! ^_^