Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Pride (04/12/04)
TITLE: John's River Bank Experience
By Martha Currington
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As he entered the 3th floor elevator he knew he was doing the right thing. His law clients could wait for another day. He felt an urgent need to be alone. Something he never took time to do.
He slammed his car door and started for a drive, with no idea where he was going. He didn’t want to go home just yet. He turned on the radio and found a station that was playing soft music. This seemed to help him relax a bit.
He drove past the Southwood city limit sign, turned onto Interstate 20 and headed toward the country, a place he hadn’t been for many years. He exited at a less traveled black tarred road. The roadside scenery was breathtaking. Large evergreen pine trees, and huge oaks cast shades onto portions of the road. He enjoyed seeing green grassy meadowlands, and black Angus cattle grazing in fenced pastureland. He passed farmhouses with green John Deere tractors and red colored farming equipment. He noticed a horse corral. Three brown horses were milling around, seemingly restless. “Must be close to feeding time.” he silently mused..
Several miles on up the road he noticed a sign with an arrow pointing to the right , “boat launching” “Why not.” He thought.
He turned to the right, driving his car cautiously down and around the narrow winding gravel road. He parked in a safe level space and got out to stretch his legs. No boats were around. “Wish I didn’t have this blue suit on.” he thought. “ I’d go sit on the river bank awhile. What the heck.”
He took off his jacket and tie and threw them back into the car. He walked along the bank til he came to a low hanging willow tree. “Just the right spot!” He sat down on the brushy grass and took off his shoes and socks and leaned against the willow.. “Oh how rejuvenating this feels!”
For quite some time, John had felt an uneasiness within. He couldn’t grasp why he had this nagging feeling. He just knew he was tired of feeling this way.
As he watched an occasional bass jump above the water surface and come back down causing a rippling splash, he thought about his life.
“What's the matter with me? I’ve never felt like something was amiss in my life before.”
“My home life is great. My law business is prospering. I take satisfaction in my achievements, yet I’m not haughty or arrogant. I’m a well know and respected lawyer. So why do I feel such a void in my life? I have my financial retirement plan in place. I’m proud of that. I will retire in a couple of years. But after retirement, what purpose will I have to drive me, to help fill this void?”
John sat a long time underneath the willow tree. ‘So peaceful here.” he thought. “Why haven’t I made time to come to places like this more often?”
The river brought back memories of his grandfather. “I loved it when Grandpa took me fishing when I was just a young lad, the fishing stories he told, and the fishing tips. Yet he shared so many other things. Treat other people right, always do an honest day’s work, save for the future but don’t put your family in a financial bind.”
“John.” He said, “Always take care of your family. That’s what’s important in life. And never forget to keep God’s will for you at the center of your thoughts.”
“God?... I haven’t even took time to think about Him. But He seems to have blessed me anyway. So why should I feel pride in what I’ve accomplished. What have I been thinking?”
“Grandpa was right. That must be the overwhelming void I feel within. I haven’t had time for God!”
John quietly stood up, then walked a few feet forward. He slowly knelt on the grassy slope of the river bank’s edge.
“Oh God,” he prayed, “I’m so sorry I left You out of my life and thoughts all these years! Instead, I’ve embraced pride in my own self worth and achievements. I am so sorry! Will you forgive me and lead me back into a right relationship with You? I’ve run out of options to have hope for the future. Actually, God, I’m kinda tired of carrying the “bossing” burden. Everyone thinks that I’m doing fine, but I’m not. Please fill this void in my life . Give me something worthwhile to accomplish as I retire, and age. Show me your will and I will yield as direction is revealed. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
As John stood up, he sensed a lightness within his spirit. A smile crossed his face.
“Oh, thank you God! You did hear!”
John lingered awhile longer near the river’s edge, not wanting to leave the serenity of the place. Yet he had to return to the city, to the real world he lived in.
As he started back toward his car, with socks and shoes back on, there was a noticeable gait in his walk.
Peace and calm had taken root within John’s heart, for he had humbly left “pride” abandoned at the edge of the river bank...
Copyright2004 Martha Currington