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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)

TITLE: A Rock or a Hard Place
By Fiona Stevenson


Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Rolf knew that whichever way he turned, whatever decision he made, someone was going to be upset. Not to say, angry. The “if’s” and the “buts’” and the “and yets'” circled his brain until he saw himself as the fall guy of the comic strip: sprawling, fallen with whirligig eyes and a starry halo.

Should he stay or should he go? And if he went, where should he go? If he stayed, what did the future hold? Would it be just more of the same, staid and growing staid-er? He winced at the pun but recognized the source of his discontent. The family business was old and well established, but he couldn’t see himself for the next fifty or sixty years fitting feet, persuading “grandes dames” that their Cinderella slippers would be more comfortable a size larger. Nor did he see himself as a re-cast Dwight L. Moody, shoe sales man and Sunday school teacher par excellence.

The problem was that he was in line to inherit said business, being the only son. So of course his father would be disappointed if he chose to leave. And when Father was disappointed he became volubly disappointed. He made of his argument sound sense in every sense of the words. Ouch!

On the other hand there were three ‘away’ choices, although to be perfectly honest the third of these was hardly a choice at all. He really wouldn’t even consider it if it weren’t for Suzanne.

Thinking of Suzanne held him momentarily. It always did. Suzi was the new chick on the block, and a very chic chick was she! Her father was the recently appointed youth pastor cum music director in the church. It was his suggestion that Rolf go to Bible College and follow up his talent for musical drama and presentation. Naturally enough Suzi was all in favour of her father’s favourite (and hers) following his advice. But Rolf was not yet ready to understudy her father – not even if there was a possibility of him becoming his father-in-law!

Rolf was of an active rather than a studious bent. He did not despise his education or the years spent gaining skills and knowledge, but he contemplated further years of study with little enthusiasm. Besides that, when he looked to the future, he was unable to differentiate between the satisfaction of fitting feet or of casting choirs. Both rated closer to negative than to positive.

There must be more to life than that. There were two remaining choices.

School friend Roger was putting pressure on for Rolf to join him as a test pilot with a large aircraft corporation. To hear Roger that was the only life worth living. The thrills were intense and the spills negligible. He and Roger were a twofold unit all through school days, surviving innumerable scrapes and scraped knees with impunity. The only disagreement they had was when Roger elected to join the air force once the school doors closed behind them. Rolf’s free spirit was not ready for military discipline. But now? Perhaps there was something in what Roger was saying?

The last choice? Rolf considered it again. No-one was putting pressure on him, it was just an offer to join a group of professional and semi-professional people, aged between twenty and fifty, delivering aid and supplies to missionaries in emergency situations. Already he met with them regularly and was a valuable home support member, but the desire to join them on the front lines was growing and expanding within his mind and soul. Now the opportunity was there of putting feet to his faith, becoming involved in a drama that would cause the angels to sing, a challenge that would lift him higher than an airplane in eternal values. This was what he wanted more than anything in the world.

His predicament was – who was it most important to please? His parents? His girl? His friend? Himself?

The answer to all of these questions is inevitable, but Rolf had to find it for himself, on his knees.

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This article has been read 399 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 03/08/12
I really enjoyed this story. I loved how the climax "showed" the reader without "telling." Great message upon conclusion.

Great job. God BLess~
Yvonne Blake 03/12/12
Ahh. . . such is the predicament of most young people. Should I choose to be a faithful worker close to home, get a higher education, serve the Lord in full-time work? None is better than another if it is truly God's will.
Edmond Ng 03/14/12
A difficult choice that only by doing God's will is the correct answer. A nicely written piece. God bless.
Lois Farrow03/14/12
Well written piece to show his dilemma.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/15/12
Congratulations for placing 6th in Masters and 11th overall!