Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: COMMUTE (07/07/16)
- TITLE: Finding a Way Home
By Sylvia Young
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“What a day to be late,” she muttered as she adjusted the review mirror.
The forty-five minute commute to work was manageable when she left the house before eight o’clock, but it was now quarter after.
In twenty minutes, she hit heavy traffic. Fingers drumming impatiently on the wheel, she clenched her teeth and frowned. A bead of sweat trickled down her back. If she wasn’t there by nine, her boss would be livid. If all went well, this presentation could turn her career around. She would be a shoo-in for a promotion. The pay increase alone would validate all the hard work she’d put in for over ten years. All the sacrifices would be worth it for the long-coveted corner office.
Traffic slowed even more and angrily, Carol leaned on the horn. Of course that helped nothing, not even her aggravation.
Suddenly she saw flashing lights up ahead. Were they from a police car or an ambulance?
Flipping on the car radio in search of a traffic update, she listened for ten minutes but was no better informed.
Frustrated, she tried to turn the station off, but another station came on instead. A song urging her to come to Jesus poured forth. She scoffed and turned it off. As if she had time to do that.
However, as the traffic inched along, the simple words worked their way into her anxious heart, and she punched the dial again. Now the same song was telling her to cry to Jesus, then dance for Jesus and finally to fly to Jesus. As the words spilled out, a shiver ran up and down her arms. She’d heard this song before at her father’s memorial service. At the time, she couldn’t let the words penetrate her grief, but now they overwhelmed her.
Her parents had come to faith late in life, and her mother was always inviting her to one church function or another, but she always had an excuse. Her job was demanding, and she had little free time.
The pattern of traffic changed, and the cars began to flow. She turned off the radio and tried to focus on the road, but the song kept coming back to her, its haunting melody washing over her.
Finally, eyes blurry, she pulled over, fished her phone out of her purse and searched for the song. She listened to it once again, reading the lyrics as it played.
The artist started by addressing a long-hidden fear imbedded deep in her heart. She was lost and left to die, and at the age of thirty-six, she did feel that love had passed her by. Most days, she ignored these feelings, telling herself that work was enough.
Then the song went on to reassure her that all her burdens were lifted, if she would only turn to Jesus. By the time the singer told her not to be afraid, to fall on Jesus, she felt a prickling sensation behind her eyes. The message at her father’s memorial came flooding back to her. She’d tried to block it out at the time, dismissing it as nonsense, but she couldn’t do that anymore.
Jesus, on a cross, for her. That’s what the pastor had said. He paid the price for all her sins. She didn’t have to carry around the burdens of the world any longer. By the time the song reached its crescendo, telling her about the joy she’d find in Jesus, tears ran down her cheeks in a steady stream. Her heart swelled to the point of bursting, and she knew that she wouldn’t be going to work today.
After a quick, sincerely apologetic text to her boss that would like be the cause for her dismissal, she dialed her mother’s number.
The cheery voice that greeted her deepened the poignant ache in her heart and caused her throat to close, but she forced herself to speak.
“Hey, Mom. Are you busy? Can I come over for a while?”
When she’d composed herself enough to drive, Carol turned the car around and headed toward her mother’s house. As she drove, her burdens really did begin to lift, and for the first time in her life, the crushing demands of the world no longer suffocated her. She felt as though she were driving to freedom.
She was on her way to Jesus.
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