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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)

TITLE: Windshield Beginnings
By toronto49 Aird
05/31/04

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With a final tug on the strap to further ratchet down the bike rack on the rear of the car I stood back to admire my packing prowess. Peering through the six windows of the small 1988 Buick Century were all of my compactly crowded earthly possessions. It all the markings of a Titanic journey doomed from the start. Even well meaning friends predicted that both car and driver would fall short of its destination, but I knew my heavenly possession had other plans. Besides, if the prospects of traveling 1,695 miles in a run down automobile, aeronautically tilted at a 15 degree slant, and complete with alternative transportation mounted at the rear of the vehicle did not improve one’s prayer life…then nothing would.

With a wave of my hand and a push of the accelerator towards the floor of automobile this journey of a thousand miles and memories commenced. My rear view mirror reflected a road that was paved with bad financial decisions on my part and accompanying pain and anguish. The consequences of those decisions had resulted in my wife making the difficult, but right choice of action to separate. Her earnest prayer was that I would come to my senses. Coupled with a practical demonstration of repentance and sensibility, my journey back was in answer to that prayer and our love. Through the windshield lay the road ahead and my future. My beginning was beginning.

For the most part the journey was uneventful. Oh, there was the separation of the muffler from the exhaust system. But thanks to the miraculous invention of wire clothes hangers that challenge was eventually met. Also, I was thankful for the steady rain that soaked me to the bone for it helped to clean my hands and take away some of the pain from the burn that I received when I touched the hot exhaust pipe.

In reminiscing about that trip I often muse on what others were saying about me as they sped by. Possibly a few laughs were enjoyed at my expense. At least I brightened up their day and shared some of the joy within my being. Possibly some expressions of sympathy at my plight and struggle were expressed. If they only could have known how light my heart was, they would have preserved their sympathy for others. Yes, on that trip my fellow travelers saw a burdened down car with an unburdened driver. Like Elisha I wish their eyes had been opened to see the angels round about me pushing, protecting and praising God for a prodigal driver going home.

That journey was nothing short of miraculous. It began in response to a woman’s prayer, her love, the Grace of God for a repentant, and an unobstructed windshield that only allowed a view of a glorious future - not a rear view mirror reflection of mistakes and regrets. My beginning was completed and continues!


Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Elder-Criss06/07/04
Overall, a good piece. Might want to proofread a little closer before submitting..the opening paragraph had a couple of errors..Should have added a had in "It all the makings..., and I'm not sure what this meant. "... destination, but I knew my heavenly possession had other plans." Heavenly possession? I did really enjoy your closing paragraph. "

unobstructed windshield that only allowed a view of a glorious future - not a rear view mirror reflection of mistakes and regrets.

I think you could end it right there, and it would be more powerful.

Blessings, Mary
Dian Moore06/07/04
Uh-oh - your first paragraph has a couple of errors and I'm confused of what "heavenly possession" means. Otherwise, good premise for the story and some great lines (my favorite): Like Elisha I wish their eyes had been opened to see the angels round about me pushing, protecting and praising God for a prodigal driver going home.
Gary Sims06/07/04
Brian - I liked your article - It held my attention throughout. I like your descriptive analogies - they have a flow to them that roll off the tongue.

The image I liked best was: "My rear view mirror reflected a road that was paved with bad financial decisions…" because it led the reader beyond the visible and concrete, into the intangible, loosely defined images of your past.

I have a problem with: “My beginning was beginning.” I know that in a sense you were reaching for Escher-like convolution here but I don’t think it works. I also think that if you had lost some of the “baggage” on the car during your trip it would have been a good representation of the process of repentance and redemption. We all have to lose that baggage in order to gain the “light heart” that Christ offers. Good contribution to the challenge - Gary
Linda Miller06/07/04
Hi Brian - wonderful article with a few mistakes . . . it really is worth it to proofread so a reader doesn't have to go back and try to fit words in where they are missing, but all in all your message was a wonderful one. Keep on writing!!
Deborah Porter 06/07/04
Brian, I honestly loved this. You painted some wonderful pictures and I laughed out loud when I read "Besides, if the prospects of traveling 1,695 miles in a run down automobile, aeronautically tilted at a 15 degree slant, and complete with alternative transportation mounted at the rear of the vehicle did not improve one’s prayer life…then nothing would."

Everyone has already commented on the typos so would just say for future challenge entries it would be really good to go over your story with fine tooth comb before submitting it. But other than that, I loved the images and the reason for your journey. There was such an upbeat and good feel to the whole piece. Well done. With love, Deb
Marie B. Corso06/07/04
"My beginning was beginning." I really liked that line!!! A good story. Good word usage. A way to proof-read is to read it out loud! You find the boo-boos that way.
Welcome back, prodigal.
L.M. Lee06/07/04
oh....what a wonderfully sweet and humble story!
Dan Blankenship 06/08/04
A few grammatical errors here and there, but pretty solid story most of the way. I agree with the reviewer who said that "My beginning was my beginning" sounded strange.

Good job.
God Bless.
Sincerely,
Dan Blankenship
Sarah Balk Bond06/11/04
Wow! You got a lot of reviews and they all had something different to say! I just wanted to thank you for sharing your piece with us. Well-written except for the typos you're already aware of. Glad you and your wife were able to work things out. Great job!