Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: What I Really Needed
By Sharlyn Guthrie
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Depositing the book and water bottle in the shade, I began to weed. So pleasurable was the aura of soil and sunshine that I almost felt guilty, considering the number of urgent tasks still pressing me. “Weeding will be my time for myself,” I reasoned, “Then I’ll finish the laundry, clean the house, make dinner, make a dessert for tomorrow’s company, and practice piano for Sunday’s praise team.” Anxiously, I glanced at my arm to check the time, only to find a tan line in the shape of my watch. “Oops, I guess I will just have to rely on You, Lord. Please give me enough time to get all the things done that I need to accomplish today. Amen.”
“Honey, I’m going on a long bike ride,” my husband hollered from the deck.
“Uh-huh,” I replied, hardly looking up.
“It’ll probably be two hours, then I might stop at Target.”
“See ya!” I shot back, waving from my half-bent position.
Moistened earth released the weeds so easily that soon I had reclaimed my untouched water bottle and book, and was hurrying once again toward the back garage door. The Lord surely was coming through for me… the weeding was finished in record time.
“What?! He locked the door? He knows I always use this door for gardening.” Mildly irritated, I hosed off my feet at the spigot, since I needed clean feet to enter the front door. At least the front door was standing open. I pulled on the screen. It was locked, too…from the inside! Now the reality of my predicament set in. Even the hidden spare key would do me no good. It fit the door standing open on the other side of the screen!
Circling once again to the back of the house I tried the basement door, already certain of the outcome. I was out of options. Turning back toward the garden my eyes caught sight of the hammock swing slightly swaying –beckoning, so it seemed.
Book and water bottle still in hand, I approached the swing, and after much shifting and squirming, settled in comfortably. Once arranged, a black and white ball of fur leaped onto my stomach, curled up, and began to purr, intent on staying a while.
Now I lay silent, glimpsing patches of azure through lacy weeping willow leaves, breathing in the fragrance of sweet pea shrub blossoms, and sensing radiant warmth lessened by a gentle breeze. Overhead, blackbirds taunted the cat, now asleep and oblivious. Songbirds twittered from far-away branches. A lone butterfly played “in and out the window” through the woven holes of the hammock. My breathing slowed as my eyes closed momentarily.
Now the book allured me, and the next hours were spent with C.S. Lewis, alternately imbibing, and then digesting a chapter as one must do with his food for mind and spirit. My sense of urgency and anxiety melted away, as did the ice in the water that quenched my thirst now and then.
Concluding chapter five, I glimpsed my husband strolling into the back yard. “Do you realize that you locked me out of the house?” I inquired, expecting to hear a gasp followed by a profuse apology.
“Really? Well, you know that there’s a garage door opener in the flowerbox, don’t you?”
“No, I didn’t know that,” I bristled, and then softened. “But now that you mention it, I’m just as glad that I didn’t know.” He furrowed his brow, uncomprehending. How could he possibly understand?
Unexpectedly I found peace, perfect peace on a glorious summer afternoon; or rather peace found me. “Thank you, Lord, for helping me to get done what I really needed to accomplish today!”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
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