Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FUSSY (11/17/16)
- TITLE: Brainwashed
By Dot Hannah
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His eyes were too frank and open to hide the disgust and pain he felt. Deeply moved, he hesitated a moment, but when he spoke, his voice was clear and firm. “Do you not feel that you owe God, country, or me anything?” His unrepentant son smiled and said, “It’s time you see that you cannot influence me anymore with your rotten ideology.” He then turned and loudly stomped out.
Shaken, his father stood silently for some time, withdrawn in deep thought. He shifted his gaze to the far end of the room and focused on the photograph of him and his son, taken much earlier in their lives. He asked himself, “How did this happen? When did my son become filled with hatred, disrespect, and disloyalty? When had he become so intolerant of anyone whose opinions differed from his?”
He had not always been this way. He had never been a fussy child or rebellious teen. Growing up, he was a pleasant boy who loved his parents and enjoyed the time they all spent together. He had always been courteous and respectful. He appreciated discussing his future plans and education with his father, pleased to receive his input about every detail. What changed?
He remembered when he first noticed a change. The boy returned home from college during break, and was noticeably aloof. As time went by, being around his parents seemed to get on his nerves. His liberal ideas did not agree with theirs, and he preferred to stay on campus or with friends during breaks. He had taken an interest in politics and was very opinionated. However, nothing could have prepared his father for what came next. His son openly voiced hostility at him for his conservative ideas. He protested, burned the flag, and confessed he no longer believed in God.
Father was disturbed that his son associated with men who were not of good quality, rioters, who gloated at the misfortune of those they harassed and bullied. Still, he tried to be a friend to his son, counseling him to be tolerant. His uninterested son proudly thought he had all the answers. He felt no appreciation for the contribution his father was attempting to make to enrich his life. He could not comprehend that like attracts like, and what we give we get. His hatred had turned black.
Speaking with his pastor one evening, Father said, “I am utterly dismayed. What obscure blunder did I make with my son?” His pastor poignantly said, “He has chosen to abandon a gracious God and father who have both bestowed manifold blessings upon him. He has opened himself up, by his own will, to voices other than God’s and yours. It is our task to pray that God will arrest his attention by whatever means. The first thing you must do is to stop all financial support. He will learn quickly enough that he cannot expect a free ride while refusing to contribute.”
The correspondence from his son was swift. “Well, I suppose you think you will change my mind by denying me what is rightfully mine. Your actions only make me firmer in my beliefs that I want no part in your brand of success or backward beliefs. I fail to find your religion and your God as good as you seem to think. You will be pleased to hear that I no longer consider myself your son but my own man.”
The continued strain of trying to understand began to take a toll on Father. He rose to his feet one morning, quivering, and fell dead, the last sentence his son had written to him on his mind. It took some time locating and getting the news to his son. Wise men have the power to think and reason things out; however, this boy was not wise. He chose not to come, as he was swallowed up in his bitterness and self-centeredness. It would be many years before he would come to his senses.
There is indeed a God, a good God, who had given him a wonderful father. How he regretted his arrogance and wished he could go back and exhibit honor to God and his father. It was too late for honoring his father, but he was thankful for being saved from violence, discord, and pride and an opportunity to honor God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
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