Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: He Is
By Tim George
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Though a gentle knock, I knew from experience the faint tap at my door would only grow more insistent with each tick of the clock sitting on the mantle across from where I sat. My head pounded with the pressure of so many decisions and soon I knew yet another must be made. Perhaps I could put this one off. After all, in my lap sat reports that I knew would offer a way out of this mess that didn’t involve what I knew the one about to enter would recommend.
“Are you ready?” It might have sounded like a question to others outside that door but I knew better. Once I replied with an affirmative there would be no question marks. It was always that way.
First a question, then silence, then that look.
Not ready to answer the knock I allowed the cabinet meeting of an hour earlier to occupy my mind. It had been quite a meeting: everyone with an opinion, everyone so sure they knew the right answer, the right way.
Harvey Samuels, my Secretary of State, leaned back in his seat as he peered at me over his glasses. “I don’t care if you have faith in his counsel, we cannot afford to alienate so many potential allies just to prove a point!”
I sighed; “I don’t want to show disrespect toward anyone, Harvey, but I must stay the course on this one. Besides, thanks to your advice, we have changed our position so many times I doubt anyone trusts us much at this point anyway.
“But sir, with all due respect I have to disagree.” It was Amanda DeVega, the new Attorney General. She had just stepped into the spot after the scandal of her predecessor. What an embarrassment he was. Mark that; had been. People forget quickly, thank goodness.
“And what is your problem with my decision, Ms DeVaga?”
“Well …” I could tell she had spoken without knowing what she would say next. “It’s just not … fair.”
“Hang whether it’s fair or not,” the Secretary of the Treasury interrupted, “do you have any idea what this will do to the economy?”
As the Vice President was about to throw in her two cents worth, the knocking at the door chased away the rest of my mental replay of the meeting.
“I must really insist we speak.” This time the voice was as clear as though no door was between us at all.
My eyes panned the room. Charts stood on easels near my desk, left there by my chief of staff for me to fret over. Each one showed the same thing: public opinion all over the place, up and down with each new decision. Decisions! More like a puppet whose strings were being pulled by that bunch of so-called trusted advisors. But as much as I wanted to blame the disaster looming on the horizon on them, I knew I couldn’t. The ultimate irony was I had appointed every one of them.
I looked toward the door and whispered; “Come in.”
As the door parted a cool breeze flowed inward and around me gently blowing away the mental fog that had held me captive for too long. Why did I resist the only advisor who always proved true? I looked back at the charts. They did not reflect the man I promised to be: steady and sure. Not this pogo-stick leadership, bouncing to the will of whoever had gotten my ear the latest.
“Are you ready to listen?”
I looked up at the only one I had ever been able to trust for stability. “I am.”
“You understand it may indeed cost much?
“And, it will surely alienate some and anger others.”
“I know. But you have done nothing but lead me to the right thing. Will you tell them my decision?
He smiled. “No … but I will be right there with you.”
And, he was.
He always is.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
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