Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Right and Left (07/31/14)
TITLE: And Then It Was Calm
By JK Stenger
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Freddy let out a frustrated sigh. He knew he wasn’t living up to the strict standards that yoga required.
“Will I ever reach nirvana?”
Freddie doubted it. Not in this life and not in thousands to come. He was too much a man of this world. Well, not a man, really. At age 20, he was still an inexperienced teenager with long hair, a house full of books on Eastern religions and a pocket full of mind-altering drugs. Not exactly the ideal of a man on his way to enlightenment.
For Freddie wanted to be enlightened. This world was drab and grey. There had to be something more, of that he was sure. But the road was so hard and straight, and he constantly departed from it. He didn’t walk straight. He staggered left, he staggered right, never stayed straight.
He felt like a spiritual noodle. Deep inside, he knew he wasn’t strong enough to attain the rigid, spiritual discipline that was needed. It was depressing. Maybe that was why he used drugs. They allowed him a taste of that hidden world of the spirit, without the discipline. Drugs revealed some of the secret wonders that he read about in the obscure books of those who had supposedly succeeded on the road to enlightenment.
But as much as he enjoyed those journeys into the mist, he knew drugs didn’t provide the answers. They only deepened his anxiety, for nothing had really changed.
When he came home from his discouraging meeting with his teacher, he made up his mind. One last mind-altering journey with psychedelic mushrooms, and then he would forsake all and travel the world in search of a guru, who could really help him. The thought made him happy. It was a good plan. But first the drugs.
There was a new dealer in town.
“He’s got the goods,” he was told. “His stuff knocks you off your socks.” Just what he needed.
After Freddie had swallowed the mushroom powder and prepared for the journey into the other dimension, he suddenly felt uneasy. Something was wrong. A deep sense of foreboding overcame him. There was no peace, only fear inexplicably knocking at his heart.
What’s this? Drops of sweat formed on his forehead. “Go away, fears…”
But fears don’t listen to the desperate mumblings of a mere boy. Fears like to play with human emotions. Fears, when given the chance, scream and boast and throw you around like a bouncing ball…faster and faster they take you on the highway to Hell, to their dark master.
Freddy fought desperately, but how could he stand up to the oncoming train of fearful darkness that was about to crush him?
God…What’s happening. Am I losing my mind?
Freddie didn’t believe in God. He had laughed when someone had tried to talk with him about God. He had proudly mocked the man.
Stupid Christians. They have no idea of the real world.
But this was real. This was no joke. He was going crazy…dying maybe.
Suddenly Freddie remembered how his mother had read him the Bible when he was young. It had given him such peace.
A Bible…I’ve got to have a Bible.
Freddie stumbled to his bookcase. There was an old Bible somewhere.
He opened it and read…
“A furious squall came up…The disciples were afraid, but Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” *
What? What’s happening?”
Freddie was enveloped by a deep sense of peace. Where was the fear? How was this possible? Gone was the darkness.
Would God be real after all?
Freddie cried. No, Freddie was weeping.
Not a sound was heard, except his muffled sobs.
Then there was a voice. Not audible, except to his heart.
“Freddie…I am your Father and I love you. Believe in Me, Freddie.”
“It’s all by grace Freddie. You can’t earn it. I am with you always. My path is straight too, but when you turn left I will uphold you. When you turn right, I will strengthen you and always lead you back. I am the way." *
Freddie clutched his Bible to his chest.
He had found the real path. He had come home.
*Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)
* John 14:6
This story is a fictionalized account of a true event in my own life.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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