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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: Defining Moment
By L.M. Lee


“Hurry up boys, it’s time for supper,” a fragile woman hollered as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. She leaned against the porch rail taking in the sight of her three boys working in the fields as she cooled herself in the shade from the late September heat.

“Ya heard ya mamma, boys,” boomed her man’s powerful baritone voice. “Let’s call it a day.”

“Yipee!” squealed the youngest boy in delight. A toothless smile cracked the muddy face created by sweat and blowing dust. Dropping his hoe, he began to race toward the house.

“Hold up a minute their son, did you forget something?”

“Yes, sir, I’m sorry.” The barefooted boy scampered back to the spot where he had dropped his hoe. Leaning over he fetched it in a flash, slung it across his shoulders and began a joyful skip back toward home.

“Papa, it sure has been hot this fall,” comment the elder boy as he step in stride along side his dad.

“Yeah, got an abundance of it,” the father agreed tousling his son’s matted hair.

“Sure wish it’d rain,” the boy continued.

“Me, too,” the father noted.

“This here lack of rain is killing us,” the boy added trying to impress his father with his farming knowledge.

“Nawh, ain’t no lack of rain,” the father chuckled. “What we’ve got is an abundance of dryness.”

“Abundance of dryness!” exclaimed the boy surprised at his father’s comment.

“Yeah, God’s creation is always abundant, He doesn’t make lack.”

“Now wait a cotton pickin’ minute here papa, that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard,” the boy counted his father.

“It’s the truth,” replied the father.

“Now how can that be?” questioned the boy.

“God always makes abundance. It’s His way. You plant one corn seed, you get four ears with hundreds of corn kernels,” smiled the father looking down on his son’s curiosity from the around the corner of his crow’s feet.

“What so, you’re saying that a drought is an abundance of dryness, not a lack of rain?”

“Yeap, that’s what I’m saying,” assured the father. “Look all around you, there’s always abundance. Abundance is what defines things.”

“What?” exclaimed the boy in exasperation. “What does that mean?”

“Simple, if there is an abundance of sand in the middle of nowhere, what do you call it?” quizzed the father.

“A desert I guess,” answered the boy.

“And if there’s an abundance of trees?” prodded the father.

“A forest,” the boy followed dutifully. “But dad, come on, that can’t be true for everything.”

“Yes it can. If you tell a heap of lies, what would you be identified as?” asked the father. He stopped and waited for his son’s answer.

“Well, you’d be called a liar, I guess,” the boy proposed.

“And when you look up at night and see a mess of stars, what do you call that?” the father concluded.

“You call it heaven,” the son replied.

“Remember that son,” the father said squaring off to look his growing boy straight in the eye, “whatever you’re known for, is the abundance in your life, good or bad. Same goes for your talents. Whatever your abundance of abilities are, determines your life’s path. If you resist it, you’ll have an abundance of misery. Whatever you’re full of defines ya.”

The two pairs of eyes locked. Deep understanding passed between them.

“Come on you two!” piped in a younger breathy voice from behind as the sound of smaller feet patted the dirt, “I’ll race ya’ll. Loser does dishes!”

A contented smile warmed her face as the abundance of dust filled the path between the field and the back porch. The dust testified that her three boys had shaken off their exhaustion and were heading for home.

© 6/11/06

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This article has been read 1276 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Grover06/15/06
Loved it!!!! VERY creative, loved the dialect, everything. Excellent take on the topic. (Some minor details... fourth paragraph... "their" should be "there." And a few places that need commas to set off persons being directly addressed.)
James Clem 06/15/06
Interesting view on abundance. I have to think on that. Fun story.
Sherry Wendling06/15/06
Love it! This simply sparkles with humor, wisdom, creativity and 'in-the-back-door' praise to God! Your laid-back style and homey dialogues made it the devotional read I've had in a long time. Excellent entry, wonderful slant!
Venice Kichura06/16/06
Enjoyed this very much!
Melanie Kerr 06/17/06
I never thought about seeing things that way before. I enjoyed reading that snippet of wisdom. I noticed one or two errors with tense at the beginning. The dialogue was good.
Lynda Schultz 06/19/06
What a marvelous bit of homespun wisdom. I loved this line especially: "Whatever your abundance of abilities are, determines your life’s path. If you resist it, you’ll have an abundance of misery. Whatever you’re full of defines ya."
Good job.
Suzanne R06/21/06
A defining moment indeed!

One constructive comment about the first paragraph. It bothered me to have a fragile woman bellowing ... I imagine a ruddy faced country wife with flour on her hands and overalls bellowing, but not a fragile woman.

Having said that, your piece is thought provoking and some of your phrases are quite clever! Well done.
Sherry Wendling06/22/06
I meant to say, "the BEST devotional read I've had in along time!" Congratulations, Lissa! I'm glad the judges thought so, too.
Kimberly Mitchell06/22/06
Congratulations on a well deserved win!:)
Trina Courtenay06/22/06
Lissa, kinda like the glass is half full, not half empty.

Congratulations on your win!
Michelle Vander Wal06/22/06
Really neat, hadn't thought of it that way before. I like the setting too, not as common as many stories. Thanks
Rita Garcia06/22/06
Lissa, CONGRATULATIONS, "Defining Moments" love the title, love the way you wove this story!