Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)
- TITLE: Little White Flags
By Virgil Youngblood
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Mike lived with his wife and two small children on the shore of a beautiful Texas lake. It was country living with all of its pluses and minuses.
The scenic views, good neighbors and the ease of fishing and water skiing after work were delightful. The winding drive to work on a narrow road that refused to let you speed, occasional septic tank hassles and the lack of trash pickup were minor negatives. That is, until today.
The burn barrel was full and it was the baby’s fault. Those wet and soiled diapers just wouldn’t burn easily. Just after sunrise on a beautiful Saturday morning Mike took a five gallon can of gasoline and started pouring it into the barrel near a stately pecan tree. Problem solved, or about to be, he thought.
Mike poured until the gasoline began to trickle out the weep holes at the bottom. Knowing how explosive gasoline is, he returned the can to the safety of the garage. He was softly singing Just A Closer Walk With Thee when he paused two arms length away, intending to strike a match and throw it into the barrel.
It was a humid day with barely a perceptible breeze. Gasoline vapors hovered unseen. Mike had barely touched the match to the striker pad on the match box when, WOOMPH, the contents of the barrel launched heavenward with a sonic boom roar. Neighbors up and down the shoreline came running to see what had happened. Mike stood frozen in his tracks beside an empty barrel, head back on his shoulders, looking skyward. His eyebrows and forearms were singed and smelling of burnt hair.
Mike was embarrassed. He was embarrassed for the longest time. “Pampers almost never rot in the top of trees” he said, “and that tree was loaded.”
Matthew 6:20 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (NKJ)
Authors note: Those little treasures Mike lifted heavenward do not qualify.
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