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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: When Teens were Fulfilling - Not Foreboding
By Marilyn Schnepp
04/07/06


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A slave, an orphan and a POW...all teenagers.

If any one of the above teenagers perpetrated a serious crime on you or one of your family members, you might as well give up the thought of any kind of punishment, retribution or justice.

It's a "Given" in this day and age, that the Defense blames teenage crime on the environment, dysfunctional families, lack of education, society and even Tom and Jerry cartoons,...but never, ever the poor, misguided teeny bopper that actually does the crime. And guess what? The bleeding heart jury usually agrees!

"He was a slave", the attorney will say, " sold to slave traders by his own brothers when he was just seventeen. Coming from such a dysfunctional family, there is no way he could be found responsible for his crimes." The jurists nod in agreement as he lashes out at society's lack of tolerance.

"She was an orphan", the attorney laments, "by no fault of her own. With Mother and Dad both dead, she was taken in and adopted by an older cousin, which was not the happiest life for a beautiful little girl". The jurists sniffle in unison as they blow their noses and wipe their eyes.

"He was taken prisoner by the enemy during war and then shipped off to the conquering country, never to see his parents again. Surely, such a young lad cannot be responsible for his actions after being a POW."

It's a heyday for the Defense Counsel as the bleeding heart jurists acquit all three juvenile delinquints of their crimes! "Not guilty, Not guilty, Not guilty... due to all of the above".

However, let me enlighten you with some True Facts on the teenage slave, the teen orphan and the teenaged prisoner of war.

Joseph WAS indeed sold to some slave merchants on their way to Egypt. He was seventeen years old when he was stripped of his multi-colored coat given to him by his father, thrown into an empty pit by his ten older brothers, and then sold to the slave traders; however, instead of a life of crime because of his dysfunctional background, Joseph became the equivalent of a modern day Prime Minister over the people in Egypt. Many troubles besought him during the years, but fulfilling his duty to God and his fellow man never wavered.

Esther WAS indeed an orphaned teenager, brought up and raised by her older cousin Mordecai. Despite her background and loss of parents. she never broke the law or reverted to crime; instead she became a Queen - thus saving her cousin Mordecai and the Jewish people from certain death - while satisfactorily fulfilling her duty to both God and His people.

And yes, Daniel was just a boy when captured and sent to Babylon as a Prisoner of War; he, like Joseph before him, did not find any of these modern day reasons to commit crimes or break the law either, despite his environment and constant threat to his life. Instead he became the highest ranking official in Babylon! Daniel, of course, had many close encounters with death on his way up the ladder to success, including an incident in a den of hungry lions, but he too, never wavered from the fulfillment of his duties to both God and his fellow man.

Joseph, Esther and Daniel have fascinating stories to tell, and yet they lived in wicked and periolous times, and although they were just teenagers at the time of their most traumatic experiences, they kept the faith, stayed the course and fulfilled their destiny.

And who can forget the teenaged David stoning old Goliath!? It would be mighty difficult trying to explain "stoned" to a teenager today - as throwing a rock or pebble, not getting "stoned" by inhaling, sniffing or shooting up. Oh well, I still say "they don't make teenagers like they used to in biblical times".

As for me - I want to fulfill the job God has planned for ME down here on planet Earth, and then one day I hope to hear my Savior say to me..."Well done my good and faithful servant...enter thou into my kingdom!"

Oh, what a glorious day!





________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Footnotes:
Joseph's profile: Gen,37, and throughout Genesis)
Esther's story: Book of Esther, Holy Bible)
Daniel's story: Book of Daniel, any version


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shannon Redmon04/15/06
I think you have a good point here but if I were a teenager and read this it would make me angry. What you say is true about the "blame game" and people not taking responsibility for their actions-I agree but for them to change their lives we have to show them the truth wrapped in Jesus love. With some editing, I think this piece could be a good one and I liked the way you used teenagers from the Bible as examples.
Jan Ackerson 04/15/06
Very well written, but the first half seems to imply that Joseph, Esther, and Daniel should have been convicted of some crime, if you follow your agrument to its logical conclusion. The writing here is extremely compelling; you're very good at drawing in readers and helping them to see your passion.
Helen Paynter04/15/06
Your tone comes across a little harsh. Remember that 'there but for the grace of God'...go Joseph, Esther, or Daniel. They didn't prevail because of their own innate goodness...and the 'delinquents' of today, although responsible for their crimes, may naver have had the opportunity to hear the gospel (which of course indicts us, the church). Powerful writing, interesting point of view.
Beth Muehlhausen04/17/06
Enjoyed your use of Biblical characters. Not sure about the applications to modern situations...perhaps just letting the stories speak for themselves is a way to honor God's intervention in their lives. You express yourself well!
Cassie Memmer04/20/06
I see your point - that had Joseph, Esther, or Daniel lived in our modern society they would never be held reasponsible for any wrong doing (not saying they did anything wrong). It's a sad state of our culture that parent's have not taught their children to be reaponsible for what they do. Christian or not Christian, we have a generation that does not accept the results of their own actions because they have been allowed to 'get by' with wrong doing. (The 'my kid does no wrong' mindset prevalent today). I think this is well written, and whether some like it or not, it's a correct statement of modern day society.
Jessica Schmit04/20/06
I agree with most of the aboce comments.

True, it seems like this story is sad state of our society, but not true everywhere.

I work with teens daily. Daily I see their struggles, their joys, their triumphs and their pain. Through their good choices and wrong choices, I will choose to stand by them. I will offer encourage to those who ask, and show by example of what the joy, contentment and peace that comes to those who pursue Christ with everything they have. Many teens I know step up and take the blame for their own choices. Unfortuately, many teens don't and allow bitterness to rule thier lives.
One thing I know for sure,
I know evey single one of those teens would shutter at this story. They would feel betrayed, judged and probably call this hyprocritical. They'd find whatever fallicies they could with this. I'm not saying this piece is hyprocritical in the least, I am saying that the tone will send every teen running for cover. They won't want to listen, and they'll want to reject the godly principles included in this powerful piece.

I must admit, you're an excellent writing for evoking such passion within your readers. That's the sign of a good writer. I hope you never change the passion and honesty you write with, I only hope you're able to see the incredible gold that comes from teens everywhere, even if you have to brush off the mud to see it.