Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
- TITLE: Choices at the Crossroads
By Sandra Fischer
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“Watch your step or . . . as they say in the old country, look before you leap!” He guffawed at his cleverness, his sardonic laughter following the people disembarking. The last to get off was Beverly Wharton, who was confused and upset.
She didn’t understand where she was or why she was here – all she could remember was the fight. She had been furious with her sister, Rachel, and had lambasted her with words she knew were hurtful and wrong. She regretted the fight, how she had let her emotions take control and the vitriol to spew from her mouth like an erupting volcano. Conviction of her sinful anger was about to have its way with Beverly, but she forestalled it. Well, Rachel isn’t Miss Perfect, either. It’s not like she never said anything to me like that! If she hadn’t provoked me. . .
Beverly’s self-justification was interrupted by a crisp female voice from behind the ticket window – “Next!”
“I guess that’s me, but I don’t understand. . .”
“Name, state and destination”, the voice requested.
“Beverly Wharton, but I don’t think. . .”
“No one asked you to think, Beverly Wharton. Just give your state and your destination.” The woman spoke slowly,
“Well, I’m not exactly sure. . ., that is. . .,” Beverly’s face flushed with a mixture of frustration and embarrassment.
“Let me see if I can help you, Beverly Wharton.” The voice softened.
“I need to know from which state you came and where you plan to go. Was it Negligence, Irresponsibility, Laziness, Indifference, Bitterness, Anger, Immorality, Idolatry – stop me if any of these ring a bell – Greed, Gluttony,
Dishonesty, Self-Righteousness – shall I go on? Everyone who gets this far has come from one of the Sin states.” The woman gave her a sidelong glance.
“Anger.” The word had formed in Beverly’s mind, but she didn’t know if she had said it or not.
“What was it?”
“Anger!” Beverly shouted so loudly the woman started.
“No need to yell, Beverly Wharton. You’re out of that state. Now, what is your next destination?”
“Look, I don’t know how I got here and I know nothing about a destination.”
The woman took a deep breath. “Didn’t the bus driver explain you are nearing the Crossroads?”
Beverly closed her eyes in an effort to recall anything about a Crossroads, but she drew a blank. The sound of paper being unfolded brought her back. The woman laid a map before her.
“You are here,” she pointed at a dot on the map, Valley of Regrets. You came from here - Anger; you are nearing the Crossroads – here. As you can see, you must choose one of three directions at the Crossroads. I ask again, Beverly Wharton, what is your destination?”
Beverly studied the map. She noticed the paved road, Good Intentions, went straight through the Crossroads and passed by some interesting towns – Nice Thoughts, Dream On, and Be Happy, but where it ended wasn’t clear. That might be a good choice; yet, she seemed to recall something about where it eventually led.
The left road at the Crossroads was named “Around Tuit”. She traced it with her finger. It was like following the path of a maze. No matter which direction she took, she would come to a roadblock, and would have to start over.
One road remained. Beverly squinted to read its name and quickly pulled her finger away from the map, sucking in her breath.
“Yes, Beverly. That’s the Death Road.”
Beverly had made many decisions in her life without careful consideration and had paid the consequences. She decided to take a closer look. Death went through towns named Persecution, Tribulation, Obedience and Self-sacrifice. The road narrowed and when she read where it led, she gasped.
“Is this the way there? How much is the ticket?”
“It’s free, Beverly, purchased by the death of God’s Son on a cross that brought you to the Crossroads. If you are willing to die to self, to accept Jesus’ payment for your sins, you can choose life in Him by taking the Death Road to Heaven. While you will go through difficulties, you will have a capable guide - the Holy Spirit and His guidebook, the Bible.”
Beverly chose the road to Heaven.
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