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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

By Dan Blankenship


I normally don’t eavesdrop on others while riding the South Shore Train back from Chicago, but today was a necessary exception. Two friends, sitting directly in front of me, were discussing belief in God verses the belief that God was a manmade myth. One of the men was a firm believer, well-versed in The Word and more than capable of defending his faith. The other man was just as prepped for their verbal conflict but firmly representing the opposing viewpoint.

“Jack, I gotta’ love your ability to use science and logic to try and explain the mathematical impossibilities behind a “chance” creation and the evolution of man. But a God so familiar with the numbers game would surely realize humans want to see proof of his existence in order to believe.”

“Okay, Steve, let me ask you this. Do people see the results of drinking and driving? Do they not see the accidents, arrests, long stints in jail? Yet, how many people choose to walk out of a bar after more than enough drinks and drive home? How many people scientifically know that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health? Did you not see how many cartons of cigarettes were for sale at the boarding station? People only see what they want to see.”

“Okay, that’s a pretty compelling argument. I’ll give you that. But I still believe in T.I.M.E. first and foremost.”

I leaned a little closer to make sure I could hear them in case he explained what T.I.M.E. meant.

“Dare I even ask?” Jack replied.

“Sure, it’s a simple philosophy. Trust In Myself Entirely – makes perfect sense, huh?”

“Well that’s ridiculous.”

“It is not. I am the only one who truly controls my own destiny. If I decide to walk out in the middle of a busy street, I made that call, not God or a minister’s prayer. My decisions affect my life. No man in the sky truly controls my fate.”

“So, Steve, let me ask you this. You trust in yourself entirely, but are you also not having blind faith in others you’ve never seen, who also have your life in their hands?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Well, you are on a 10-car train traveling at 60-miles-per-hour, passing intersection after intersection, and yet you have not met or seen the man driving this locomotive, correct?”

“Ya, well, I could go meet him and talk to him if I like. Then I would at least know he exists.”

“Really, well give it a go,” Jack replied, pointing to an attendant a few feet away.

I watched in amusement as Steve made his way to the attendant and spoke with her. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it was a very animated exchange of words. Soon, he returned to his friend.

“You knew didn’t you?” Steve asked Jack.

“Knew what?” he replied.

“You knew that after 9-11, no one is allowed inside the engine car to disturb the conductors.”

“No, I didn’t know that. But I guess that means you’re just going to have to believe he’s up there and he knows what he’s doing, huh? I mean at least for the T.I.M.E. being.”

“You know what, Jack? Sometimes I wish I would just bring a book to read on these rides.”

“Oh, why didn’t you say so? Here, I have a book,” Jack said pulling out a Bible and trying to hand it to his friend.

The two men heard me chuckle and turned to see me smiling.

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This article has been read 337 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 11/23/12
What a wonderful exchange, well worth listening in on.
Hiram Claudio11/27/12
This was a fun read. It was well crafted and a very creative take on the challenge topic. I enjoyed the exchange and could feel like I was sitting there listening in. Very well written.
C D Swanson 11/27/12
Great job with this piece. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks!
God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/27/12
This was a great read. You had me smiling and nodding with agreement. I think it was a delightful take on the topic and will make readers really stop and think.
Noel Mitaxa 11/29/12
Clever characterisation of arguments and questions that bring them to life. Congratulations on your placing. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/29/12
Congratulations on your ribbon and for placing 18 overall!
Loren T. Lowery11/30/12
Felt a bit like an eavesdropper there myself - but well-worth the bent ear. Great job and congratulations on your placing.