Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: START (02/25/16)
TITLE: A Journey in Life
By Elaine Hemingway
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The exploratory cry of a newborn on the threshold of life; a meandering stream flowing from its source in a mountain glade; a comment sparking an unexpected reaction: what have they in common? They are all a beginning with consequences. As we watch a life unfold we see the differences that choices make. A river, seen from above, shows what is around the next curve, but the boat travelling on it is unaware of what lies ahead. A comment, like ripples from a pebble that is thrown midstream can spread in amazing ways, causing grief or joy in whatever situation it was uttered.
I was enjoying my daily reading sometime last year and was suddenly challenged by a thought regarding Ezra: chapters 9 and 10. The idea that when the exiled were told they must leave behind their foreign wives when they returned to Jerusalem began a train of thought that has led to what can almost be called an obsession. I initiated an investigation into the times of Nebuchadnezzar, and now have a file full of related information. Originally the idea was a love story - who would win the allegiance of the young hero? Would he honour Yahweh or cling to his wife? A dilemma of note would ensue, with the culmination of - what? The ideas flowed and the story expanded, with the outcome to be decided.
Two choices challenged me, do I take the plunge and use my interest to spark a full story, or do I dispatch it to delayed death? I choose to take it as a beginning with potential, and as I examine Babylon and its Tower of Babel, in the mixing of languages and peoples, beliefs, superstitions and foreign gods, I see so much of the precursor of our world’s situation today. I feel I am on the brink of another “Never Ending Story”! But it has begun, and will be pursued to the end.
As a procrastinator of note, there are several unfinished documents in my history of interesting ideas to follow up on. Some of them were completed, more or less, and await the editing stage which I continue to procrastinate about. This one, though, has grown, and Nanowrimo seemed the perfect time to make a start. Something about the discipline of around a couple of thousand words a day gives an incentive to perseverance that is productive.
Back in far distant schooldays when the pursuit of achievement was a necessity rather than desire, my doodling began a detective story never resolved but with the title of “Murder by Proxy” which left much scope for imaginative scenarios. Much later I was interested in the life of Jan van Riebeeck, and so began the “Winds of Hope” fable. That was in the days of the typewriter and corrective tape, another tale of – dare I say it? – Too much time and effort required.
And so my thoughts move on, and I wonder how our lives are affected by the small things that start an avalanche of consequence. A rash comment made by a Christian leader started a downward spiral into guilt, self-condemnation and a turning away from the church and “religion” in one person, while another felt intimidated by an over- effusive welcome leading to a similar outcome. Then an enthusiastic friend was intrigued by a ministry effort and excitedly joined the programme without taking into account the drain on time and opportunity that would be presented. Enthusiasm dwindled, and so, unfortunately, did her part of the ministry. What lies ahead for me I wonder, as, having started the race, I run with zeal.
To run a race the starting line must be approached. There must be a willingness to proceed. There must be a desire to win, and most of all to reach the winning post.
“Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize... Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air ...”
(1 Corinthians 9:24,26)
My race is in the shape of a Midrashim, a fictional take on a Biblical account, and I pray I will reach the finishing post. It’s a new chapter in life.
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