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

TITLE: And we could live happily ever after…
By Bronwyn Johnson


There is an unfinished jigsaw puzzle sitting on my dining room table. Pieces of scenery are sprawled across the surface. I started with turning the pile over so that each piece faced the top, then I took the corners and sides and worked until I had the frame. Then I started filling in the middle but soon lost interest and now this gaping hole has been staring at me for a couple of weeks and I just don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm I had in the beginning. When the urge strikes I know I’ll sit down for an hour or so and fit more pieces together until the whole puzzle is done. Afterward I’ll stare at the finished project and admire the picture. Then I’ll break it all up again and return the puzzle to its box for another rainy day or days when I feel like putting it together again.

An unfinished jersey is resting in my knitting basket and a whole bookshelf of unfinished novels. I have started so many things and then lost interest. It reminds me of life. God started each of us as a brand new story. He created each person with their own “Once upon a time…” He gave us all unique talents and a destiny in life and then He left the rest open for us to finish. He never lost interest. He simply gave us the freedom to fill in the empty spaces. We have our corners and our sides but the middle is open. Pieces of our lives are sprawled across the table and, until we see the whole picture, we will not fully understand our purpose.

We live our lives as a story with a beginning a middle and an ending. The ending could allow us to “Live happily ever after” or it could be tragic. As we live our lives, the plot is revealed as we encounter other characters and circumstances. We may find that our story takes many twists and turns along the way and will often stumble or stop completely at times. We might find that our story travels in circles and we are no nearer to a happy ending than when we began.

As each new day dawns, it is like turning the page in the story of our lives. Each morning brings a new paragraph, a new chapter, a new beginning. It gives us the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and to move on. It gives the opportunity to realise that we are heading toward a tragic ending and to rather change direction and move toward a happy ending. The choice is ours. We are given the freedom to write our own story.

It is never too late for a new beginning. Abraham was eighty years old when God called him to leave his home and find the Promised Land, Noah was over a hundred years old when he entered the ark, Moses was forty when he fled Egypt to live with the Midianites. He stayed in the desert for another forty years before approaching Pharaoh to let God’s children go. We know how his story ended. After years of leading the Israelites, it was Moses who took them to the doorstep of the Promised Land.

Nelson Mandela was an adult when incarcerated on Robben Island and an old man when released 27 years later, and yet that was when his destiny was revealed and he brought about the birth of a brand new beginning for South Africans. He facilitated a miracle that has propelled him to the history books forever as one of the greatest men of our time. If he could stand up for the truth and reform a country that had lived in hatred for so long, there is no end to what you could accomplish.

As young shepherd boys, none of these three men ever knew that the little beginning they made in life would cause them to lead a nation.

Just one person making a new beginning could bring about peace in a war torn world. Just one beginning in the right direction could bring an end to the AIDS virus or world hunger or child abuse or any form of sin or violence in this world. Just one new beginning could bring about anything you dream possible.

Until the final puzzle piece is fitted and you see the whole picture, you never know… That beginning could be yours.

Bronwyn Johnson
June 2004

Member Comments
Member Date
L.M. Lee06/07/04
Gosh, sometimes I feel like I'm just always trying something new and nothing fits! Then I am reminded of Thomas Edison 1000 attempts before he made a light bulb!
Dian Moore06/08/04
This is by far the best look at beginnings. I loved the way you wrote this - the illustrations you drew, the reminders you gave, and the encouragement it brings to all who read it.

Thank you.
Deborah Porter 06/10/04
Excellent Bronwyn. You caught my attention with the unfinished jigsaw and the unfinished jersey. then you carried me through a very good message.

The examples you used of Abraham, Noah and Moses, were perfect. But the one on Nelson Mandela was brilliant. As long as the sun rises, there is time for new beginnings that can make a difference.

Your last sentence tied everything up beautifully. Your challenge contribution may be near the end, but it was definitely worth waiting for! With love, Deb
Anthony David06/11/04
Dear Bronwynn! The parallels you draw between an unfinished jigsaw puzzles do strike a chord within me! Good writing!
Linda Germain 06/12/04
Being a jigsaw puzzle worker, this had great appeal. The message was suberb and expressed in a creative and interesting way. Great insight. Good writing. :0)