Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: Of Churches and Signs
By Sharlyn Guthrie
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Last night Jaydon had been introduced to a new Father, Savior, Friend. Today he reveled in his new identity, flexing unused spiritual muscles, squinting as Heavenâ€™s unfamiliar light permeated his being.
Not only was it the dawning of a new life, but also of a new week. â€śFind a good church,â€ť Jaydon had been instructed. â€śFellowship with other believers will help maintain your focus and keep you strong.â€ť Visions of the grandiose cathedral in the center of town filled his mind.
He maneuvered his compact car toward celestial spires reaching high above the cityâ€™s skyline, then parked and approached the massive structure. Immense windows patterned in deeply hued patches of glass allured him. Mounting the broad stairway, he passed between marble columns before grasping the doorâ€™s gleaming handle.
Light dispersed as he entered. A handful of parishoners sat scattered across the enormous sanctuary like balls on a pool table. Jaydon took a seat near the back. All eyes stared straight ahead as the liturgy was recited. Although the words were meaningful, his fellow attendees appeared unmoved.
Fresh air and sunshine greeted him afterward, along with a sense of relief.
â€śTry Hallelujah Hollow,â€ť a co-worker suggested. â€śNearly everyone I know goes there.â€ť So the following Sunday Jaydon navigated the fifteen miles through heavy traffic, failing to account for traffic snarls and the churchâ€™s mega-maze of parking lots. Uniformed attendants directed him to a distant lot from which he was shuttled.
He sat in the upper tier of the amphitheater and counted six giant screens positioned throughout the room, projecting the morningâ€™s activities. Professional-sounding musicians played before the enthusiastic crowd. Both the music and the message were impressive, but Jaydon somehow felt lost and insignificant. The service was impersonal and seemed like a staged production. Were these Christians for real? More importantly, could he ever admit his sordid past in the midst of such obvious perfection?
Discouragement hounded Jaydon throughout the following week. Maybe this business of being a Christian wasnâ€™t for him. Maybe it was simply a change of attitude heâ€™d needed, not a personal relationship with God. Besides, if the relationship was so personal, was fellowship even necessary? â€śGod, if church is really important to you, please lead me to the one you want me to be a part of,â€ť he prayed. â€śAnd if itâ€™s not too much trouble, please give me an unmistakable sign when Iâ€™ve found it.â€ť
Jaydonâ€™s finger crept through the churches listed in the yellow pages: Baptist, Bible, Brethrenâ€¦Lutheran, Methodist, Nazareneâ€¦Saint Johnâ€™s, Saint Paulâ€™s, Saint Stephenâ€™s. He closed his eyes, touched the middle of the page, then eyed the spot where his finger had landed. Parkway Presbyterian was five miles away. Heâ€™d better get going.
Jaydonâ€™s car complained, however, and refused to start. After the fourth attempt he slumped against the steering wheel. â€śWell Lord, I asked for a sign. At least I know you were listening.â€ť A new plan for his Sunday began taking shape.
Stepping onto the sidewalk he brushed against someone and turned abruptly. â€śExcuse me.â€ť He nearly fell into the widest, bluest eyes he had ever seen. â€śI didnâ€™t see you. See, my car wouldnâ€™t start, so I wasnâ€™t really thinkingâ€¦â€ť Why was he rambling on about nothing?
â€śAre you on your way to church?â€ť Was she speaking or singing?.
â€śWhy, yes. How did you know?â€ť He was obviously flustered.
â€śWell, itâ€™s Sunday, and youâ€™re also carrying a Bible.â€ť She giggled, and Jaydon blushed.
â€śIâ€™m Cynthia, and Iâ€™m on my way to a little church on State Street. Itâ€™s a short walk. Would you like to join me?â€ť
â€śUh, sure,â€ť answered the utterly defenseless young man.
Late that afternoon Jaydon returned home with a smile that wouldnâ€™t stop. How could he have doubted Godâ€™s goodness? The church was small, but intimate. The preacher doubled as a service station manager, and had promised to look over Jaydonâ€™s ailing car. His hand had nearly been worn out by handshakes. He even accepted an invitation to lunch with Cynthia and several of her friends. With great ease he revealed over sandwiches the path that had led him to the Savior, ending with todayâ€™s events and finding the perfect church. Only one cherished detail was withheld: his unmistakable sign named Cynthia.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.