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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: The Greatest Expectations
By Tim Pickl


“Watch the screen: unprecedented numbers of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms, drought, famine… what is happening to our planet? What is God trying to tell us?” Professor Matthew Verde dramatically paused to let the questions brew in his students’ minds. The good Environmental Professor liked to shock his students, especially toward the end of a lecture.

That should wake them up, he thought.

It worked. Several students gasped; others shook their heads, looking down into their laptops.

“Whether you believe it or not—and you know my thinking on the subject of God: the concept of God is relative to how much faith you personally exercise—whether you believe He is sending earthquakes and storms to judge us doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the earth is here; and so are we. But the problem is not the earth—nahhhh—Mother Earth’s been here for millions of years—the problem is the ‘we’.”

Oh, no—here we go again, the Professor should have been a preacher, thought Heidi Gibbs, a Religious Professor from a neighboring University. Heidi was seated in the back row, patiently waiting to speak with Professor Verde.

Professor Verde grabbed the remote control and powered off the projector. He spun around and wrote a big WE ARE on the chalkboard. He spun around again, and pointed to the students, chalk still in his left hand.

“WE ARE the problem. The total human population has exploded all over the earth. WE ARE literally consuming her like hoards of locusts. If we don’t stop polluting, spewing toxic poisons like uranium into our land and water supply; ruining the ozone layer, and endangering the delicate natural order of things, WE ARE on a path to self-destruction.”

He set the chalk down and picked up a cup, and sipped some water from it.

“Excuse me. Mr. Professor, sir?” Heidi raised her voice and her hand like an eager schoolgirl. All the students in the lecture hall turned their heads to see who was so rudely interrupting the lecture.

“Ahhh, yes, Heidi Gibbs. Folks, for those who do not know, Heidi is a Professor from a nearby competing University and is graciously visiting us. So, Professor Heidi, how can we assist you today?”

Heidi Gibbs stood, so her voice would carry to the entire class.

“Oh, Heidi, I did not know you were expecting.”

“Yes, Professor Verde, we can talk about my pregnancy offline.”

Some of the students giggled.

Professor Verde stroked his chin thoughtfully. “I apologize. I was temporarily shocked. What great insights into current world natural events were you going to offer us?”

“The Bible says in Romans, Chapter 8, verses 18 and 19:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
The earth itself is groaning, waiting for deliverance from the curse placed on it because of sin.”

Professor Verde stroked his chin thoughtfully and then waved his hand. “Okay, what does that mean to you?”

“It means that the frequency and intensity of all we are seeing coming on the earth will just get worse and worse.”

“I see…kind of like giving birth to a child?”

“Actually, yes.”

“So many things to ponder… but we deviate, and we’re out of time for today. Students: remember to study your UNEP book – the United Nations Environment Programme – your UNEP paper is due Friday at noon. Have a wonderful, green day!”

After the students vacated the lecture hall, Heidi ambled down and met the Professor by the chalkboard. “Hey Dr. Green—didja remember?”

“I’ve been expecting you.”

“Excellent! Um, where did we leave off?” Heidi pulled her laptop out of her black leather bag, and powered it up. “I know it’s been a few months…I think we were still on Lesson 3 in the Bible Study?”

“Yes, we were in the middle of Lesson 3 when we were interrupted by the mandatory evacuation order.”

“Yeah, that crazy hurricane was completely unexpected. Okay, I found it… the scripture we’ll start with is Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

“I like that; the Lord has the greatest expectations for my life.”

“Yes, He does.”

“Guess what happened?”


“I prayed last night.”


Reference: Scriptures taken from the New King James Version--

Romans 8:18-19
Jeremiah 29:11

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This article has been read 632 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer09/02/11
Whoa, you covered the whole gamut of expectations in this story. My favorite was the unexpected one at the end. :)
Linda Goergen09/02/11
Lots to feed on and ponder in this story, great message and great ending! Enjoyed!
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Good job, great references to the "end times" Great ending. God Bless~
Edmond Ng 09/06/11
Nicely written and an enjoyable piece! God certainly knows the plans He has for us, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give us a future and a hope.
Cheryl von Drehle09/07/11
Good flow throughout the story, and interesting rendering of the topic. I was a little confused at the end...who was saying what.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/08/11
You managed to cover so much in 750 words. I enjoyed this read and your subtle sense of humor.