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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Wow! (03/11/10)

TITLE: Been There Done That . . . Until
By Marlene Bonney


I couldn’t find it anywhere; illusive, it seemed always just beyond my reach . . .

I searched for it in relationships: with my friends, with my spouse, and with my children. Each time, I thought,

“Wow. This is it. I finally found it.”

But my friends were there only in the good times or when it was convenient, my spouse was looking for it, too, and my children developed wings that took them far away.

I looked for it in extra-marital affairs, in travel, and in further education and thought,

“Wow. This has to be it. I’ve finally found it.”

But the affairs didn’t last, the excitement of visiting exotic or interesting places dulled, and increased knowledge did not yield the wisdom I had hoped for.

I searched for it through service to my fellow man, through giving away my possessions, and through joining churches, clubs and humanitarian projects. And, I thought,

“Wow. This is definitely it. I found it.”

But I grew discouraged when my help wasn’t enough, I grew tired of going without, and fellow servants turned on each other in their zeal.

I looked for it through hobbies, through entertainment and through unlimited self-gratifications. And, I thought,

“Wow. This surely has to be it. I’ve finally found it.”

But I soon lost interest in the hobbies, the movies, plays, operas and performances were only temporary diversions, and the excesses of food and wine only brought addiction and health problems.

I searched for it in physical fitness programs, in self-help groups and in connecting with my “inner spirit”, thinking,

“Wow. This is it. I finally found it.”

But my self-discipline waned, the counselors were as needy as I, and my inner spirit dried up.

I looked for it through dedication to my country’s political leaders, to the “little man’s” causes and through self-expression and freedom of speech. And I thought,

“Wow. This is definitely it. I found it.”

But the leaders became immoral and corrupt, the causes too unpopular to get support and picket lines became ineffective and mundane.

I searched for it through popularity and recognition, through sophistication and glamour, and through the company of celebrities and the famous. And I thought,

“Wow. This is it. I actually found it.”

But the adoring public was too fickle, the attractiveness too superficial, and the famous people fell off their pedestals.

I looked for it through the occult, through the stars and signs of the zodiac and through the newest religious sects.

But, the black magic was manufactured or evil, the astrology seemed ludicrous and the communes were revealed as brainwashing tombs.

Then, I turned to nature, examining the nuances of plant and animal life, searching for it through the worship of creation and green ecology.

“Wow. This has to be it. I’ve finally found it.”

But plants wilted and died, animals preyed on each other, and the elements turned into hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes.

When I stopped searching for it, I found it—in the least expected place at the least expected time, leading me on the never-ending path of discovery.

I found it in a baby’s innocent laughter, in a child’s trusting hand, in a stranger’s act of kindness. I discovered it in the perfection of a single rose miraculously and impossibly popping through a crack in the pavement, in the promise of a sunrise, in a magnificent rainbow after a storm.

I found it in a manger that turned into a cross: the love of God! WOW!

He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line
He was there all the time

He Was There All The Time
By Gary Paxton

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lori Othouse 03/19/10
You've related so well the lengths people go to searching for fulfillment, as well as the eventual let-downs. I'm sure many can relate to this. And it's so true...He is there all the time.
Jackie Wilson03/19/10
This reminded me of Ecclesiastes. Enjoyed your work.
Rachel Rudd 03/21/10
So true of the futile search for hope without God. Very eloquently written.
Noel Mitaxa 03/21/10
I also thought it was a modern take on Solomon's reflections through Ecclesiastes. I felt that "Illusive" at the beginning could have been coupled with "elusive," but you spelled that out as you progressed.