Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)
By Cheryl Harrison
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"Another day gone," he muttered. Josef tucked the knife back in his pocket and peered into the darkness. "How is a man supposed to finish his work without light?"
As best as Josef could recall, it had been at least three years since the last twelve hour workday. Scientists from all over the world gathered together. They attempted to explain the shift in time, but after much debate, even they couldn't provide a definite answer.
Josef turned toward the outer gate. "Best lock up now. Trouble hides in the darkness."
The steel gate shut easily, but the weathered lock seemed unstable. Josef decided to secure it with a heavy chain and padlock. Satisfied, he kicked off his work boots and entered the house. He found a box of matches and lit a candle. The warm glow of the candle failed to light the entire room, but without electricity it would have to do.
Josef removed a slice of crusty bread from the pantry and spread a thin layer of jam on it. After a long day of work the stale bread tasted like a gourmet meal. He washed it down with a cup of tepid water and then took a seat at the table. Pulling the candle close, he picked up a worn leather book and began to read ...
"It will come about in that day," declares the Lord GOD, "That I will make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight. "Then I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth on everyone's loins and baldness on every head and I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, and the end of it will be like a bitter day. "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD. "People will stagger from sea to sea and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, but they will not find it (Amos 8:9-12 NASB).
Josef tapped the text with his finger. The words amazed him.
"How is it that this book knows the answers to my questions? Who is the LORD? Why is he so angry with the people? Why would he stop talking to them?
These and other questions clouded his mind. Something about the book seemed familiar, but it he couldn't figure it out. Suddenly, a vague memory popped into his mind. As a child, he remembered hearing stories about a group of people who burned books -- books like the one he held in his hand. He didn't understand why, but for some reason the people felt threatened by the book. They said it was full of lies. Matter of fact, it surprised him when he found the book tucked away in his mother's old trunk.
Josef leafed through the pages. "I don't think this book is full of lies, but we'll see soon enough."
He rubbed his eyes and set the book aside. Tomorrow he would read from the book again. Maybe he would find more answers. But for now, he needed rest. Unaware that someone was watching him, Josef stretched out on the bed and drifted off to sleep.
Yes, Josef -- rest. Seek me with your whole heart and you will find me (Jer. 29:13). Soon I will tell you great and wonderful things which you do not know (Jer. 33:3). But for now -- rest.
Peace filled the room and Josef began to dream. The Lord began to speak again.
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