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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: Patience Tested
By Lillian Rhoades
02/22/12


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Patience Tested

Long before the stirring of day, he walked down the hall to the laboratory, opened the door and quietly closed it behind him. Sleep had not come quickly and did not linger long. He had to get back to the specimens that had been carefully placed on Petri dishes, and that now lay safely in the locked refrigerator. Specimens that he had been working with for many months.

No, sleep had not lingered long. Perhaps today, he thought.

With haste he fired up the burners, turned on the microscope, then shuffled to the refrigerator to take out the Petri dishes that held his beloved specimens.

The knock on the door startled him.

Now who…

“Benjamin, why are you here at such an ungodly hour?”

“I couldn’t sleep, and I see neither could you.”

For a moment their eyes locked.

Neither of them blinked until Benjamin broke through the veil of silence.

“Do you think it could be today?”

“If not today, then perhaps tomorrow,” he answered.

Once more their eyes locked, and then both heads silently nodded in agreement.

Yes, if not today, then perhaps tomorrow.

Lingering no longer, He hurried towards the refrigerator, and just had time to insert the key into the lock when he was stopped by another knock on the door.

Why, who else would…

He hurried to the door.


“Jaxton, what brings you here so early in the morning?”

“I couldn’t sleep, and I see neither could you nor Benjamin."

For a moment their eyes locked.

Neither said a word until Jaxton’s voice pierced the silence.

“Do you think it could be today?”

“Yes, If not today, then perhaps tomorrow," he replied.

Again, their eyes kept a steady stare, and then both heads silently bobbed in agreement.

Impatient to retrieve the Petri dish whereon their specimens lay, he hurried once more towards the refrigerator door and inserted the key in the lock. With the gesture that only impatience knows, he opened the door, and there on the shelf right where he had left them were his treasured Petri dishes. Benjamin and Jaxton peered anxiously over his shoulder. Both backed away, being careful not to make him drop the dishes.

Gently he laid them on the table, then picked up one and placed it on the stage of the microscope. He paused for a moment, anxiously hoping, then turning his head he positioned his eye and gazed into the lens.

Jaxton and Benjamin stood behind him, hands clinched by their sides. The second hand on the clock moved time from five seconds to ten, and then to fifteen. Slowly, he lifted his head. First, his eyes spoke, and then his lips moved.

“Success is not ours today, perhaps tomorrow.”

And so they returned the next day just as the day before, and the day before that; he first, then Benjamin, and then Jaxton.

Carefully, as before, the Petri dishes were placed on the stage of the microscope, and he, positioning his eye, gazed once more. Benjamin and Jaxton, barely breathing and with hands clinched, stood on the edge of hope. The second hand moved from the present to what seemed like an eternity, one second at a time.

Then he slowly lifted his head. His eyes spoke first, and then his lips moved.

“Gentlemen, let’s rejoice, success is ours!”

“Congratulations, Mr. Pasteur!” Benjamin and Jaxton shouted.

For several years, despite the dismissive attitude of colleagues, Louis Pasteur forged ahead in his efforts to expose the relationship between germs and diseases. Today, doctors wash their hands before surgery, sterilized instruments are used for surgical procedures, and millions of people survive operations because of Pasteur’s experiments that helped develop the germ theory. His patience and perseverance in the laboratory fundamentally changed the course of medicine forever.

The Apostle James writes about the “incubation” period that spawns patience, the kind of steady endurance that Louis Pasteur demonstrated.

James writes: For when your way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete (James 1:3,4).


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This article has been read 352 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 02/23/12
Fantastic application of theme! I love it when I learn a bit of history, while enjoying a narrative at the same time.
Francy Judge 02/23/12
I enjoyed the creative way you told this story of discovery. Perfect for the topic too. Great job!
CD Swanson 02/24/12
What a creative use of the topic! Great job with this whole piece. I loved the historical overview, and I especially loved the "scripture concluding the story." Perfect!

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/12
This was educational and spot on topic. You did a nice job with it.
Amica Joy 02/25/12
You really got my attention from the first sentence to the last. It was like reading an adventure story. Great writing. The "experiment" was well chosen as well. I am impressed. :-)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/03/12
Congratulations on ranking 14th overall!