Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
TITLE: At the Dream Store
By Holly Jensen
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a nice house, and plenty of friends. One might wonder what more I could want, but I needed another goal for which I could strive; a dream that I hadn't yet followed.
I searched through the shelves of dreams packed in cases designed to catch the seeker’s interest. There were dreams of hill-top mansions, rising to fame and/or power, being beautiful, being wise, and so many more. None of these were what I wanted. I was happy with my house, my looks, with everything. But there was something missing. I had come here looking for the answer to this dilemma.
Feeling frustrated and discouraged, I walked toward the exit.
The store-owner asked, "Did you find your dream today?"
"No, I answered," trying to act as though it didn't matter.
"Well, perhaps I can help. What sort of dream do you wish to follow?"
"That's the trouble! I don't exactly know. I want a dream that is special; one that won't be easy to follow, but will be rewarding. I want a dream that will last longer than I will."
"Ah," the man answered, "I have just the dream you want."
I followed him to the back of the shop and through a door I hadn't previously noticed.
"This is where our most priceless and difficult dreams are kept."
He reached up to a shelf that held a number of cases. They all had a strange shape to them. I was to find out later that the shape was called a cross.
"Here, he said, is our most priceless dream."
He handed me the case so I could look it over. It looked rather plain except for what appeared to be a red stain that ran down the length of the cross. I opened the case slowly. There was something about it that inspired the utmost reverence and care.
Inside was the picture of a face. It smiled, but I got the impression that it could be stern too. The eyes were what struck me most. There was such a look of love in them. There was something else as well. I felt as though whoever this was wanted to pull me apart and put me back together again in a different shape. Yet there was a promise in the look which seemed to be saying that once I was put back together again, something far better than what I now was would be the result.
"What dream is this?" I asked.
"It is the dream of a personal relationship with that man. His name is Jesus Christ. This dream lasts forever without fading when cared for properly. It is also the dream that when you die, you will go to Heaven and live with Him. In this lifetime, it will change you; make you better."
"Nothing down and zero payments. See that red stain on the case? Jesus died to pay for this dream. Yet it does cost in the end. See, this dream changes you. You will become more and more caught up in following it. People won't understand. Even your family may not understand. But I sell several of these. There are those who will understand and join you in following this dream. In fact, there is a place where people gather to talk about how better to follow it. I will give you directions if you decide you want to go on this journey. There is also a guide-book that comes with the case and I will give you one of those too.
I stared at the face of Jesus for a long time. The look in His eyes was drawing me, calling me. It was calling me with the promise of an adventure. I new, somehow I new, that this was what I'd been missing; the thing I had come to the dream store to find. The thought of what it could cost frightened me a little, but His face and the thought of what I would gain made my decision.
"I'll take it," I said.
He smiled and took a large book down from another shelf. We went to the front and he rapped the case and book in tissue paper. He gave me a receipt that said, in crimson letters, "Paid in full."
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