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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)

TITLE: The Worry Trap
By Tim Brown


Bill: Whatís the matter Sam? You seem down in the dumps.

Sam: Iíve got this huge school project thatís become so time-consuming I canít get anything else done. I canít believe the teacher assigned it right before vacation.

Bill: Whatís the project?

Sam: Iíve got to write a 2,000 word essay on the Hubble Telescope. 2,000 words! Thatíll take forever.

Bill: I thought you liked learning about space and things like that.

Sam: I do, but did you hearÖ2,000 words. Thatíll take all vacation and I wonít get to have any fun.

Bill: How much have you gotten done on it?

Sam: Iíve thought a lot about it, but havenít really done much else. Just thinking about it is using up all my free time, so think how bad it will be when I actually start. Iíll be writing day and night all week long. I wish Iíd never taken that class.

Bill: It sounds like youíre spending all your time worrying and none of it on the actual project.

Sam: Of course Iím worried. I forgot to mention that this project counts for 50% of my grade. If I donít do well, Iíll fail the class. So, Iíve got a lot to worry about.

Bill: I hate to disagree, but you have nothing to worry about.

Sam: What! Havenít you listened to anything Iíve said?

Bill: Yeah, Iíve listened. But youíre forgetting something very important.

Sam: Whatís that?

Bill: Donít you remember our Sunday School class last week?

Sam: What about it?

Bill: The teacher talked about the problem of worry and gave us a great verse to show we donít have to worry about anything if weíre a child of God.

Sam: Oh yeah. I remember something about that, but Iíve been so worried I didnít even think about it. What was that verse again.

Bill: Philippians 4:6. It tells us not to worry, but take the problem to God with a thankful heart and realize that he is big enough to help you through it. When you do, his peace will fill you and you can look for his way to solve the problem.

Sam: Well, I bet the author didnít have to worry about writing a 2,000 word essay.

Bill: Did you hear what you just said?

Sam: What?

Bill: That an author didnít have to worry about writing a 2,000 word essay.

Sam: What? OhÖbut I bet he didnít have to write 2,000 words.

Bill: Are you sure about that? That verse is found in Philippians chapter 4. If each chapter has 500 words, than he did write 2,000 words.

Sam: Iíve read Philippians before and it didnít take that long. Are you sure there are 2,000 words in it.

Bill: My guess is that it has more. Sam, youíve focused so much on that number youíve let it scare you. If you had followed Philippians 4:6-7 you wouldnít have wasted so much time worrying.

Sam: How can I do that?

Bill: First, go to God and tell him about how hard the assignment is and how worried you are. Then ask him to calm you down and look for a way to solve the problem rather than worrying about it.

Sam: Ok. Then what?

Bill: Well, youíre pretty good at typing. An average typist can type anywhere from 200 to 250 words in five minutes. Letís say you type 200 words in five minutes. How long would it take you to type 2,000 words?

Sam: Letís seeÖthat would be 200 words ten times, at 5 minutes a time would equal 50 minutes. Wait a minute. Thatís less than an hour.

Bill: Now youíre beginning to understand. Also, thereís a lot of information on the web about the Hubble, so your research shouldnít take much time either. I mean, it even has its own website with information and pictures.

Sam: Hmmmm. I see where youíre going.

Bill: Since you enjoy learning about space, donít you think youíd enjoy learning about things the telescope has discovered?

Sam: Yeah, I would.

Bill: In fact, my guess is that once you get started, youíre going to complain that writing 2,000 words isnít enough.

Sam: I think youíre right. You knowÖI think the only thing time-consuming about this project was the wasted time worrying about it. Now, I canít wait to get home to start work on it. Thanks!

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This article has been read 424 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Fowler03/03/11
Funny story and nice dialogue between characters. As writers, there are weeks we would "KILL" for a 2,000 word count minimum, huh? Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.
Noel Mitaxa 03/06/11
A sad case of humble pie (or should that be "Hubble" pie?) - which can be very nutritious if it is not force-fed! I love how you have dissected the issue adn put it back together in such a clear and positive way. Well done!
Theresa Santy 03/07/11
I liked the devotional element of this piece. Oh, and the irony. So often, the weight of the worry over a thing exceeds the weight of the thing itself.
Dolores Stohler03/07/11
I loved this story and it fits the topic so well. You did a great job of showing us how futile it is to worry while tying it into the scripture. Really superb!
Bonnie Bowden 03/09/11
I can't count how many times I sounded like Sam, but I guess I have nothing to worry about now.