Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: The Valley of I
By william price
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shocked. With blue eyes wide, mouth agape, knees stiff, he shuffled off the train.
It had been a slow spiraling trip. The twenty-five year old was weary. He hadn’t planned on
traveling far. He stood as the only passenger who disembarked. As the train whistled goodbye,
Jacob quickly looked back, realizing he left his Bible onboard. He sighed... as it left the station.
“Why didn’t you run after it?” queried and aged voice approaching Jacob from behind. “Surely
an athletic lad like yourself could have caught it.”
Turning to see who was speaking, the newest visitor to the Valley of I shrugged his slumping
shoulders saying nothing. The hunched man, now standing with wooden cane before him, had a
round pale face veiled in wrinkles. His eyes, calm green pools, were partially shaded by a dusty
black derby. The trains rumble could faintly be felt as it faded in the distance.
“You should not stay here long young man. You do know that?
“I don’t think I know anything anymore,” Jacob offered. “I mean, I ... Where am I anyway?
The man lifted his cane and pressed it against Jacob’s chest. “You’re here.”
The puzzled young adult reached to remove the intrusion, but when he felt it, he stopped. Not
knowing why, Jacob just held the gnarly staff, feeling its slight pressure against his heart.
The man knew he could minister now. He had met many Christians at this depot. But it was the
recognition of the anointing that gave him the go ahead to continue. He lowered his staff. “You
are at a place where all Christians travel. A place you have to know exists. The sad story is,
more Christians live in this valley, than do not.”
Confused, yet intrigued, Jacob wanted the stranger to continue, but, “Who are you sir?”
“I am what I was given to say.” The cane again lifted to Jacob’s chest. “I’m an intercessor who
cries out to God for hearts like yours, to beat freely for Him.”
Tears formed in Jacob’s eyes as the staff touched his heart, the battlefield of his inner turmoil,
that caused him to get on the train one Sunday after church. He asked him to continue.
“Son, God knows what is going on in there.” The cane poked Jacob again. “The Apostle Paul
wrote about it:
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal...For what I am doing, I do not
understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice; but what I hate I do.
If then, if I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me,
but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
But, I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin...
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
The old man removed the cane from Jacob’s chest.
“Sir, I just read that on the train, and I couldn’t make sense of it, until now, until that cane
“I hope you read further because that is your ticket out.”
“When the next train arrives, you have to quote Romans 8:1 to the conductor and he will let you
“But I’m not sure I remember, I...I...”
The old man again touched the lad with his cane.
Jacob smiled from the departing train. He wanted to wave at the missionary to the Valley of I,
but the anointed old man was busy talking to a young lady who just arrived.
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