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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Don't Hesitate
By Marita Thelander


Tom slipped into the back of the little church. Nervously, he rubbed at his whiskers and futilely attempted to smooth his rumpled shirt. At the invitation of the worship leader, everyone stood. Tom felt safe here. Nobody knew him.

It had been two weeks since he had argued with his wife. She pretty much kicked him out of the house. Tom had packed up all of the camping gear he could grab and headed to a campground not too far away. The commute to work seemed easy enough and no one noticed anything different. He would put his ear plugs in at the construction site and go about his business.

Rubbing his chin again, he thought to himself, I should have shaved. Feel kind of scruffy. Sitting in church made him think of his mother. Funny, my mom always said Iíd find my way back to God. Well, not sure I am coming back. Iím just looking for a warm place and something other than a log to sit on.

Tom recognized the next song. He cleared his throat and joined in quietly. Itís been a long time since Iíve sang anything but Country Music blasting at work, or in my truck. This feels different.

The next song appeared on the large screen. A waterfall moved in the background as the words appeared over the scenery. Tom didnít recognize it, but it had a simple melody and he could feel the song's movement into the chorus. His fingers were gently tapping the seat in front of him as he hummed along, closing his eyes.

My heart feels so much lighter. God, are you here? Do you remember me?

Tom became lost in the seamless worship. He could feel his voice blending with the woman leading, and found himself harmonizing from time to time. His body made slight movements in rhythm, along with his toes.

Iím forgiven, because You were forsaken. Iím accepted, You were condemnedÖ

Tomís heart began to stir. What a beautiful song.

Iím alive and well, Your Spirit lives within meÖ

Whoa, what is this? Tom began to feel panic. Why is my heart racing? He tried to push the emotion aside. I can feel the progression to the chorus. Maybe I can catch on and sing.

Amazing love, how can it be, that You my King should die for meÖ

The pastor stepped to the edge of the platform. Tomís heart raced like he had been caught doing something wrong.

ďAs we continue to sing this song,Ē Pastor spoke quietly, ďif there is anyone here that would like prayer, I would be honored to pray for you. I sense the Spirit of God moving in our midst. Someone needs to know that; Ďnow is the day of salvation.í Donít wait, God is calling you to make a decision today.Ē

Amazing love, I know itís true. And itís my joy to honor YouÖ

People began to move from their seats and meet the pastor for prayer. This amazed Tom that he would take time to pray individually for people.

No way could I go down there, Tom reasoned. He doesnít have time to pray for me.

Tom fidgeted as the prayer line grew shorter.

Iím alive and well, Your Spirit is within me, because You died and rose again.

Iím not alive. Iím not well. God, Your Spirit doesnít dwell in me.

The pastorís words interrupted Tomís revelation. ďI want to give one more opportunity. Would anyone else like prayer?Ē

The pastor hesitated.

Tom hesitated.

The pastor turned towards the platform stairs.

Donít hesitate. Why am I still standing here?

The pastor stopped and turned around to face the congregation. His eyes were scanning the faces, ďI urge you, donít hesitate.Ē

You are my King, Jesus, You are my King.

The music began to build. Tom felt like his heart would explode.

Amazing love how can it be? That You my King should die for me...

Tomís legs began to wobble. Unexpectedly, he lunged for the aisle. Tears streamed down his face as he jogged down to the front of the sanctuary. People were still returning to their seats and Tom looked like a fish trying to swim upstream. He muttered to himself as he made his way to the pastor. Donít waitÖcanít waitÖmust do this now.

Tom fell to his knees, weeping. The pastor knelt with him and led him in a salvation prayer, and whispered in Tomís ear, ďNow is your day of salvation, son.Ē

2 Cor. 6:2bÖ.Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (NKJV)
You Are My King (Amazing Love) Words and Music by Billy James Foote

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This article has been read 707 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 03/13/08
Wow! I could feel myself running down the aisle with this man. I am almost sure you are a worship leader to be able to capture worship the way you did. Excellent. Love this story and the message.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/13/08
Your excellent entry really shows how the words of a song can awaken a needy heart to God. Very well done.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/15/08
Your story touched me. Tears fill my eyes as I type...and may I add that this is right on target. Thanks for this wonderful story of God's wonderful love for all...God Bless.
Chely Roach03/16/08
This was a beautiful story, absolutely perfect for the topic, and very well written. I loved it.
Jan Ackerson 03/16/08
Masterfully done, and the pacing is just perfect.
Lyn Churchyard03/16/08
I know exactly how the man felt. This is how I felt when I came to the Lord at the age of 12. There was this incredible sense of urgency and then when I could stand it no longer. I fled to the front of the church and felt as though a warm fire was spreading through me. This was so real, the emotions perfect. Very well done, Marita, you've captured it well!!
Shelley Ledfors 03/16/08
Absolutely beautiful! (How did the words on this monitor get so fuzzy?) God Bless...thank you for writing such a lovely piece.
Mandy White03/16/08
Great job, Marita! That is one of my favorite songs! Well done.
Catrina Bradley 03/16/08
Beautiful and moving. I could feel the momentum building, and with your MC's urgency, as the song reached its crescendo. Great writing, right on topic.
Sally Hanan03/16/08
A very good piece of writing altogether. I liked it--even though the message was familiar, you still made it fresh.
Debbie Wistrom03/17/08
I think we may have a placer here. you drew me in and held me. The song was a great tool and you used it well. I'd like to know the rest of the story.....
Joshua Janoski03/18/08
This is one of my favorite worship songs.

As I was reading this, I saw myself being transported into that church. I was sitting near that man, and I watched as he struggled with his thoughts and then finally broke free and went up to the front to get prayed for.

Being able to transport someone directly into your story is the sign of a great writer. You did just that for me.

Moving up to Masters soon maybe? :)
Jeffrey Snell03/18/08
You captured the tugging of the Holy Spirit very well. Nice job.
Patty Wysong03/18/08
Oh, cool!! This is a perfect story to go with this song! Great job!!
Beckie Stewart03/19/08
This is excellent illustration of the lesson and well written. I could feel the Spirit move in the MC and was so glad when he finally said yes. This is good.
Sara Harricharan 03/19/08
Oh I SO love that song! It tied in so well with this, it's been awhile since I've read lyrics that went so well with a particular piece. This was just great, it made me smile at the end. I love your title too-really great job! ^_^
Betty Castleberry03/19/08
This is so true. So many hesitate, but I'm glad your MC did finally heed the call. You pulled me right along with him. Nicely done.
Mandy White03/20/08
Way to go, Marita! MASTERS for you, girl. Great job!
Sara Harricharan 03/20/08
***Congrats on your win!*** Yay!
Joanne Sher 03/20/08
Just excellent, Marita. I love how you wove the actions with the song lyrics. Exceptional, and you are SO deserving of your placing. Excellent, girl!
Loren T. Lowery03/20/08
Just beautiful and so real, and so deserving of your win. Congratulations! Loren
Sheri Gordon03/20/08
Congratulations on your 3rd place. This is a beautiful story, and one many people can identify with. Hearing that call...but hesitating. Good job with the topic.
Catrina Bradley 03/24/08
Congratulations, Marita! I loved reading this again. This line just echoes in my heart, "God, are you here? Do you remember me?" Fabulous.