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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Failure (03/01/04)

TITLE: Forgive or Forfeit
By Gloria Haynes
03/07/04

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The radio crackled as Rachel drove along the country roads toward the city. The unseen minister launched into his sermon. Forgiveness.
Would it never let up? Hadn't last night been enough? Her own minister had gone on for an hour about the need to forgive in order to make one's heart ready for God. How did they synchronize their sermons? It seemed like a conspiracy.
Rachel repositioned her body in the seat and waited for the message to pass. If she could only make it through the day, she could leave work and escape to the retreat.
Every year the weekend spiritual retreat was held at an isolated campground thirty miles from her house. No phones, no television, no work, and no nagging at her to forgive.
The year that had passed since the last retreat had been a difficult one. She had left her job after a blow-up with a co-worker. Rachel had to admit she had really lost her tempter that day. The scathing words she casted on Daniel had left scars -- and not just on him.
Her new job had helped heal some of the pain, but that day lived on every time she allowed herself to let her guard down for a moment. Rachel could still feel the pressure of Daniel's questioning about the report due the next day. She could still feel the anger that grew within her like a fire. And she could still hear the horrible names she had called him echoing in her memory.
Daniel had presented the most difficult obstacle in her career, and after walking out that fateful day, he had thrown every obstacle possible into her quest for a new position. It was only when she applied to work with their biggest competitor that she could find work again.
But tonight would mark a new beginning. Rachel would spend three days at the retreat and come home with a renewed heart. Of that much, she was sure.
"Forgive," the radio minister warned from his hidden pulpit in the speaker. "Or forfeit God's blessings."
He was speaking to her, she realized, just as her own minister had the night before. Could she? Was it possible?
Rachel pressed the button on her cell phone for speaker call.
"Daniel? It's Rachel. I wanted to say, 'I'm sorry.'"


Member Comments
Member Date
Dave Wagner03/08/04
>> How did they synchronize their sermons? It seemed like a conspiracy.<<

I like this line.

A question: Was contacting Daniel and repenting the only was should could forgive him? If Daniel had told her to take a flying leap (or harsher words) would that have made it more difficult to forgive? Could she have simply prayer and forgiven without contacting him? I'd be interested in knowing how you would have had Daniel respond to Rachel, if you had carried the story on a bit further. Would it all have worked out, or would he have continued to be an obstacle?

Thanks for posting. It made me think.
Dave Wagner03/08/04
Bleh, I hate typos...I can't go back and edit my comments!

I meant to say was repenting "the only way she could have" etc etc.

Sorry. My brain gets ahead of my typing sometimes....
Donna Anderson03/12/04
I love the way the Holy Spirit justly but gently guides us to grace. Very nicely written. :)