Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: START (02/25/16)
- TITLE: No better place to start.
By Karen Vlantis
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Suzie smiled and put down the newspaper. She sipped her coffee and pondered how great her year was going to be. She felt excited and decided to have only one New Year’s resolution: to start each day taking the advice of her horoscope. This year was definitely going to be better than last year!
“Penny for them?” Claire asked as she spooned the froth off her Cappuccino.
Suzie flinched as she was roused from her daydream of her year of love and money.
“According to my horoscope, I’m going to make oodles of boodle and Craig is going to ask me to marry him”.
Claire looked at her friend intently. “Why do you stake so much in these horoscopes?”
Suzie stared into her cup and thoughtfully replied, “When I read the profile of my star sign, some statements were pretty spot on. I reasoned that given it conveyed such accurate knowledge about me, there must be a lot of truth in it. I made such a botch of things last year that I have decided that if I follow the wisdom of my daily horoscope, then I’m bound to make a success of the year!”
Claire grimaced as she reflected on her friend’s current situation. Suzie’s boyfriend was living with her and who, from an outsider’s perspective, enjoyed the comforts of being taken care of with no intentions of stepping up to the responsibility or commitment of marriage; and as for money, Suzie was getting deeper into debt.
When Suzie looked up from her cup, she glimpsed the concern reflected in Claire’s eyes. Chuckling she said, “Okay, it’s my turn to offer you the penny”.
Claire weighed her words carefully. They had been down a similar path before. She plainly stated, “Suzie, I’m concerned for you. It worries me that you depend on horoscopes and crystals and tarot cards to direct your life”.
Suzie fidgeted with a sachet of sugar and broke eye contact with Claire. “My psychic said I wouldn’t go wrong if I paid close attention to the wisdom I gain from these channels”.
Claire responded gently, “Suzie, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And true wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective and acting accordingly.”
Suzie flicked the crumpled packet of sugar across the table and snapped, “Claire, please don’t start with your God stuff.”
Claire shifted awkwardly in her chair and bit her lip.
Suzie picked up another packet of sugar, and blurted, “Why does God have to be feared? Is he a tyrant?
Claire’s eyes shot wide open. She had not expected that response! “God is the complete opposite to a tyrant! God is pure love. If he was in a contest, he would walk away with all the ‘Greatest Dad’ awards!
Puzzled, Suzie ventured, “Why then would someone fear a loving Father?”
Gaining boldness, Claire continued, “The English word fear was translated from Hebrew. The Hebrew reference to fear, not only incorporates fearfulness, but it also includes respect and a sense of awe. As your knowledge of God grows, so does your fear in the Lord. When the reality of God completely dawns on you, you can’t help but become awestruck, respectful and probably a tad fearful."
“But how is that the beginning of wisdom?”
Claire slowly sipped her cappuccino and answered, “When you realize that God only wants the best for you and that He wrote ‘Successful Life 101’, you would want him to be your life coach! Because of the respect and awe you have for Him you would desire to do what he says. You would literally hang on His every word as to how best to live your life. When a person starts at the proper starting place and builds their life on the correct foundation, they will encounter the path of wisdom.”
Suzie stopped fiddling with the sugar sachet and asked, “So, if I consult this manual, and follow its guidance, I will gain wisdom and will learn how to live my life wisely?”
Taking the final sip of her Cappuccino, Claire smiled, “Pretty much! There are other things you need to know and think about, but for now, it’s the best place to start!”
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