Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PRIDE (inflated opinion of one’s self) (02/19/15)
TITLE: God's Candy Bar
By Milly Born
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Six years ago, soon after we welcomed her in our home, our daughter told us about the bullying and beatings she suffered during her years in the orphanage. We promised that we would never lift a hand against her. However, I confess that I raise my voice, because Sarah pushes my limits in patience and self-control regularlyâ€”especially when she defies my parental authority.
A source of recurring friction is Sarahâ€™s lack of sense of time. Every single school day, I have to urge her, "Come on, honeyâ€”itâ€™s late, hurry up now." I'm always the first to get in the car, waiting for her to race out of the house, her jacket dangling by one sleeve as she holds socks or earrings to put on.
One morning last week, she dragged herself out of bed at 7:45 once again. She got dressed, packed her school bag, and gulped down her yogurt. While she was brushing her teeth, I headed outside to the car. The engine ran as I sat still, tapping my fingers for more than five minutes. Only the concern that I might wake up my husband prevented me from honking the horn in a frenzy of frustration. Finally, Sarah leaped into the car. The clock showed 8:08.
"What took you so long? You know we need at least twelve minutes to get to schoolâ€”you'll be five minutes late." I backed out of the driveway and drove as fast as possible around the potholes in the dirt road.
Instead of replying, Sarah flipped down the vanity mirror. "Yuck! My eyeliner is a big failure today."
As the car roared uphill, the implication of her words hit me. "What? Did you put on makeup when you were already late?" My voice grew louder. "And I sat waiting for you in the car?"
I slapped the wheel and further increased the volume. "How in the world did it enter your mind to put on makeup at a moment youâ€™re supposed to be on your way to school?"
"Today you won't escape, young lady. I'll have to sign a tardy slip, and it will go on your record." I knew she loathed the idea. "That will teach you."
A glance to the side revealed that she had her eyes shut. I knew she was praying to be allowed in without a tardy slip; she always does when she's late.
Well, sweetheart, your prayer won't help you this time.
8:20â€”The gravel crunched as I parked the car in front of the school. Impossibleâ€”the doors are still open. Sarah grabbed her school bag and rushed inside the building without saying goodbye. Surely, they won't let her pass. I opened the car and was about to step out when she appeared in the doorway and gave me a thumbs up, her face flushing with triumph.
I slumped back in my seat. God, what are you doing? She deserves a rebuke! I could use some backup in my attempts to educate my daughter. How will she ever take me seriously?
Grumbling, I reached for the key.
What do you rememberâ€”the spanking or the candy bar?
My hand froze in midair. As the thought sank in, I bowed my head, and a sigh escaped my lips. Okay God, You win. Iâ€™m sorry. Not my way, but Yours.
Feeling small before the God of great grace, I started the car and drove home.
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