Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the BushĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: The view from the sanctuary
By Suzanne R
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A cool breeze wafts across the water. Boats bob. Seagulls squawk. Salt crystalizes on my lips. Exclusive cafes line the street, their cakes extravagantly large, rich and fluffy, the prices as steep as the mast of that yacht.
A vase is why I‚Äôm here. A valuable vase. A vase bought for a song on the internet. Because I‚Äôm too tight to pay for postage, I find myself in this fashionable corner of the city to collect it. Besides, it is interesting to stand in a different world, the world of successful business people, television personalities, sports heroes and more.
I know, I know. Money can‚Äôt buy happiness. But money can purchase tools for enjoyment. Money can ensure ‚Äėoptimum health‚Äô, which goes a long way towards happiness. For a brief moment, the ugly green monster of jealousy roars in my ear. Its fiery breath about knocks me down and singes my hair.
I was warned before I accepted this career. ‚ÄėYou‚Äôll regret it one day.‚Äô ‚ÄėIt‚Äôs all very well while you‚Äôre young and idealistic, but one day you‚Äôll wake up and realize that your peers have left you behind.‚Äô ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt underestimate yourself ‚Äď you‚Äôre worth more than what they pay you.‚Äô Had I reached my earning potential, perhaps I would be a resident of and not just an interloper into this community of wealth and excess.
‚ÄúThis is what the wicked are like ‚Äď always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure‚Ä¶.‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:12-13a NISV)
Wicked? Perhaps those who get rich by dishonesty might be a bit wicked, but some of these people are kind. Nice. Hard-working. Diligent students in their youth, most likely. No different to me really.
I inhale the salty air. Why, Lord, don‚Äôt you transfer some of their excess into my bank account? Just a little. My humble little Toyota parked next to the shining Mercedes Benz looks sadly at me through dirty headlights. A new timing belt they said. $600. Start saving for it, the mechanic said. Yeah, right. How?
It‚Äôs not fair.
‚ÄúWhen I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:16 NISV)
If you can call the cancer of discontent ‚Äėtrouble‚Äô, then yes, you could say it ‚Äėtroubles me deeply‚Äô.
‚Äú‚Ä¶ it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:17 NISV)
The sanctuary. I ought to enter it more often. It isn‚Äôt like I have to go far to get there ‚Ä¶ God‚Äôs Spirit lives right in me. All it takes is a little focus, a little discipline, a little effort to stop and pray.
Possessions can make the journey through life more comfortable. My journey through life, in contrast, is cosy. Possessions can be used to bless others. Noble indeed. But the destination of these self-made individuals is still unchanged.
I stand by the waterfront, delving deep to find ‚Äėthe sanctuary‚Äô.
‚ÄúYet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:23-24 NISV)
The One who created all that is, who sustains nature itself, He holds me. Not by the scruff of the neck like a dog, dragging me along yelping and whining. Rather, He takes me by my right hand. He guides me. As for glory ‚Ä¶ I cannot begin to imagine.
‚ÄúThose who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:27 NISV)
The well dressed woman strides to the shiny expensive car. Rays of sunlight bounce off the jewel that she wears with poise.
‚ÄúYou must be the lady come for the vase. I‚Äôve another piece you might like. Here ‚Äď it‚Äôs yours if you‚Äôd like it.‚ÄĚ
This is no stereotypical ‚Äėwicked lady‚Äô. Wealthy, most obviously. And kind, generous, hard-working, thoughtful ‚Ä¶ yet without God. Busy, sweeping off to her next engagement before I‚Äôve adequately thanked her.
‚ÄúBut as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge‚Ä¶..‚ÄĚ (Psalm 73:28 NISV)
I point my dirty little car with the worn out timing belt towards the outer suburbs. To the place where God generously provided for me a lovely little home on the wrong side of the tracks. Where I have the perfect spot for the vase. That's a tale for another time.
The view from the sanctuary is good.
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