Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
- TITLE: A FISHERMAN GOES TO COLLEGE
By Eureka F. Collins
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They began walking off campus to a secluded spot in the woods, along the banks of the Elizabeth River to play card games and drink wine. As they were strolling along and teasing each other, the campus Chapel bell commenced to ring. Nearly two miles away, Carl suddenly stopped and told Paul that he would not go any further, he had to go back to attend church.
Paul shouted to the other five, who were a short distance ahead and said, “Hey guys, come back; Carl is getting religious on us. We have to assist him by baptizing him in the water.” Immediately they surrounded Carl and told him that only by going with them could he save himself from a cold bath.
In a calm, soft, but earnest tone of voice, Carl told them that they had the physical ability to put him into the river and hold him there until he drowned, but before doing so, he had a few words to say.
Carl stated that although they knew he was nearly two hundred miles from his hometown; they did not know that his mother was very ill and bed-stricken. He did not remember ever seeing his mother out of her bed or room. He also stated that even though he was the youngest of the family and barely able to attend college, he had to practically beg his mother to permit him to leave her. After many prayers, she consented and he began preparations to depart.
Carl continued explaining that the next morning, after breakfast, his mother prayed for him as he knelt at her bedside; with her loving hands upon his head. Many nights since, he revealed that he had dreamed the whole scene over and over again. It was the happiest recollection in his memory. When she ceased praying, her last words were:
“My precious son, you do not know—indeed you can never know—the agony of my heart when parting forever from my last born, to me you are still my baby. As you go off to college to pursue your studies, you are looking for the last time at the face of the one who loves you as no other does or can. Please understand; your father is unable to pay for any visits home during your two years away for college. I have been given less than two years to live, son. The sands in the hourglass of my life have nearly run out.”
With a sigh, Carl continued his mother’s words, “In that distant and strange place to which you are going, there will be no loving mother to whom you can seek counsel when temptations come your way. Therefore, you must learn to say “No” when the urge arrives for doing wrong. I cannot be with you, but I will commit you daily to the care of God, who is omnipresent, watching your actions—whether good or bad. Every Sunday morning, from ten to eleven o’clock, I will spend the hour in prayer for you. Wherever you are during this blessed hour, remember there is a church-bell ringing for the assembling of God’s people. If you should hear it, let your thoughts carry you to its pews, as I will be agonizing for you in prayer. Commit to memory Proverbs 1:8-10. Kiss me farewell, my son. My last words to you are in the language of Solomon, ‘if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.’”
When Carl had finished, his colleagues were all weeping, thinking about their mothers. Involuntarily, they opened the circle which surrounded Carl. Each of them admired Carl for his strength and courage he had undertaken—to break away from them to attend church. Carl walked off without another word; and silently, they followed. That day, the six students became Christians.
Carl prayed, “Father, I was near the river today and felt trapped. But You turned my trap into a hook and allowed me to reel in six men. I pray that You and my mother are proud.”
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