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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: The Prom (08/02/04)

TITLE: Never Too Late
By Beatrice Ang


My voice shook as I held the microphone in my hand. I could see, through blurry eyes, the anxious faces of my teachers and my peers as they waited for me to begin singing.

But my mind went blank.

'Oh, Lord God.' I prayed silently. 'Help me...'

The lyrics were quick to disappear from my mind that night as I stood, embarrassed and shaking, in front of the crowd. Patrick, my duet partner had the same look on his face---and I could tell he was suffering as much as I was. It was our first prom ever, and it was turning out to be a complete disaster. For once, I was speechless as I thought about, how, just last night I had been expecting myself to enter the biggest dance of the year triumphant.

I should have had my doubts, though, when that morning I suffered a terrible coughing fit. My grandmother made me drink some sort of chinese medicine that she guaranteed would help get rid of my cough. It did help...well, a little anyway.

In any case, I went to school that day feeling quite happy and excited for the big event later that night. I was a senior in our high school and it was the first time I was ever entering a prom. It had meant so much to me, especially when the dance's coordinators invited me to sing in the said event. I was ecstatic.

Morning passed, and afternoon came. Patrick and I had yet to practice our song but we were quite well known for having voices that blended particularly well---so we weren't too worried. My head was swelled...I felt like superwoman.

Arrogance is never a virtue. I comprehended that fact when, about 5 hours before the prom, I began to panic. Patrick and I had chosen 2 songs but we hadn't practiced either of the two! Still, with the short time left, we crammed in memorizing the lyrics and in learning the tune. Suffice it to say, we thought we were able to do quite well...for a last minute practice.

And so, that was what happened. Because of our over-confidence, we now stood on the stage looking like fools in pretty clothes. I knew we didn't deserve a miracle...but that was the only thing that could help us right now. I was beginning to feel sick in the stomach as the audience gaped at us. I was ready to die of shame right there and then.

But God was merciful. By His grace, he taught me to stand up despite the difficulties. He knew we made a mistake and He was ready to forgive us.

Closing my eyes and focusing on the words, the song began to flow freely from my lips. The stares slowly disappeared and I was able to sing with all the emotion I could muster. It felt as though God sent his angels to whisper the lyrics in my ears...

Of course, despite being a loving and forgiving God, God doesn't forget to punish those who think too full of themselves. The holes in our performance were many, before and after the prayer, and we left the stage with crushed egos and broken pride.

Still, it was an experience. God taught us professionalism, the ability to get up and continue no matter what the circumstances. God gave prom, to me, a whole new meaning. It wasn't simply a get-together where people could show off their beauties and talents...it was an event where one could comprehend God's graciousness and where one could experience the hand of the Father as he guides His creation into the paths of righteousness.

It was what made my prom so memorable...and I realized, as the prom ended that night, that I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Not even if I had to wait 3 whole days before I could look my friends in the eyes again.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 08/09/04
This was great! Great opening...you brought me right there with you. I liked the line, "looked like fools in pretty clothes". Well written with a great message!
The only error I saw was towards the top of the article in the line,"... about how, just last night,..." there shouldn't be a comma after "about". Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this! Great job!
Blessings, Lynda
darlene hight08/09/04
Great lesson and well told!
Dian Moore08/09/04
This line, "... God sent his angels to whisper the lyrics in my ears.." is awesome. This is going to be a very hard challenge to pick a favorite. Good writing!
L.M. Lee08/09/04
well, it was a good lesson to learn...just not exactly the best place! ;-D
John Hunt08/12/04
I am so with you on this. As a part-time soloist in church, I have - on occaision -approached the podium unprepared. All it takes is just once and you learn your lesson!
Great job!
Karen Treharne08/12/04
Good message, Beatrice. You are right, it's never too late to learn a lesson from God. The mercy to me is when God reveals that lesson to me, which I seemed to ignore when I was younger. Now, I look forward to and expect the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart loud and clear. What an opportunity to praise our Heavenly Father for His love. You have been truly blessed.
Deborah Anderson08/13/04
I liked the message that you carried in your story. Thank you and God bless.