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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Whine (05/23/13)

TITLE: Something Deep Within Me
By Tom Parsons


There was a problem. No one wants there to be a problem at a wedding, but there was a problem at this wedding. A serious problem. They had run out of wine. And they had some very important guests at this wedding banquet, who would no doubt start complaining if there were no wine to drink with the meal.

It is the nature of human beings to complain when things are not going as they expect they should. Since I am a human being I know how that works. A driver cuts in front of me and we come dangerously close to a collision. That is an opportunity for me to express freely my conviction that this driver belongs in prison, not on the road. My electric bill is larger than I expected it to be. That is an opportunity for me to express my conviction that the people who run the electric company are greedy money grubbers who ought to join that driver in prison. A piece I am writing just refuses to flow the way I want it to. That is an opportunity for me to, at least in the pre-computer days, crumple up the piece of paper and throw it in anger across the room.

My wife has often scolded me in these rants. “Don’t complain to me about the driver; I’m not the one who cut you off.” Or “It’s the power company you should be talking to, not me.” Or, "It’s not my brain that is trying to write this piece.” We always hurt the one we love, they say, and I guess we also complain most to the one we love, the one who probably is not in a position to do anything about the problem.

At the wedding, though, there was a person who knew who it was could, or perhaps, should do something about the lack of drink. Some think that this person was closely related to the groom, because she seemed to have some authority at the banquet. At least, the servants did what she told them to do. But first she told her Son about the problem. Later she told the servants to do whatever her Son told them to do.

Six huge waterpots stood nearby. Empty. “Fill them with water, to the brim,” the servants were instructed. “Take some to the master of the banquet,” was the final instruction. When the guy in charge tasted the water, it was wine, the best he had ever tasted.

Of course, the woman who spoke to her Son was Mary. Her Son was Jesus. And the wedding was in ancient Cana in Galilee. And this was the first public instance where Jesus performed a miracle in order to help His disciples to believe that He was who He said He was, the Messiah.

But getting back to me and my problems. Other drivers. The electric company. Stubborn words and phrases. Do you suppose that I could just take these problems to Jesus and let Him solve them, or at least ask Him to give me a better attitude about them? Do you think instead of ranting and raving I could just say, “Lord, I submit to you?” Could I, instead of getting upset about another driver, just say, “Lord, thank You for sparing us both an accident?” Or could I just pray, “Lord, help us to use electricity more efficiently and wisely?” Could I just ask the Lord to help me find the right words to express the thoughts I want to cast into written words?

Of course, I could do these things. Indeed, I should do these things. But something deep within me, firmly embedded in my old sin nature, really prefers when things are not going my way to express that frustration in a good, old-fashioned whine.

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This article has been read 265 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/30/13
Great approach to the first miracle in the Bible performed by Jesus. I enjoyed your story...nicely done.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/13
This is a great devotion. I especially enjoyed your rantings. You have a subtle sense of humor and I'm sure I'm not the only one who could relate to the MC (or at least to his wife as she was a hoot too)

My only red ink would be to suggest you try to get rid of what I call pesky passives (pp) like the word was. Your opening paragraph uses it a couple of times. Using an active verb will pull the reader into the story more. You also used the word problem three times in the opener. Maybe something like this might work: While the guests enjoyed the celebration, a problem started brewing in the back room. No one wants to confront a quandary during a wedding.
It's not perfect and there is a slight cheesy take on the word brewing, but I hope it helps show what I'm trying to say.

I think you did a great job of bringing the story to life. I have to admit, I didn't remember that the woman was Jesus' mother. That really makes a huge difference to me personally. How cool is it that his mother was there to witness his first public miracle. Because of your story, I'll never forget that detail again. You did a great job of pulling the topic in. I also liked how you married the past with the present. It's a great representation of the truth. Well done!
Genia Gilbert05/31/13
Great honesty here, and shows us ourselves a little too well. Good writing. I enjoyed this.
lynn gipson 06/05/13
Great story here. I can relate to other drivers and the power company woes. I enjoy your style of writing very much. Thanks for sharing this take on the miracle of changing water into wine.