Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
TITLE: Time to Repent
By Raymond Bouchoc
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“Barry? Is that you?”
“It’s me, bro.”
“That’s where you were sitting the last time I saw you.” Conrad motioned with his arm and head to the place Barry sat.
“I like it here. I’ve been sitting here a long time - years.”
Conrad’s head spun. He blinked and shook the dizziness from his head.
“You ok?” asked Barry.
“Yeah. Of course.”
Barry’s name popped into Conrad’s head, for some strange reason. It struck Conrad as simply funny.
“B-a-r-r-y,” said Conrad.
“You making fun of my name?” said Barry.
“What is Barry short for?”
“What?!” Conrad burst out laughing. “That’s ridiculous. It reminds me of Chef Boyardee.”
Barry smiled. “You laughing at my name?”
“It IS kind of funny,” said Conrad.
“Yeah, yeah. That’s why I don’t tell too many people. What’s your name, by the way?”
“I know that, dodo!”
“Nice name. Do you have more names?”
“Why would you ask me that?”
“So, you DO have more names. Out with it.”
“Conrad Frederick Berenger.”
“Oooo. I like it. What else?”
“What do you mean, ‘What else?’”
“There’s more, isn’t there?”
“Ok, ok. Conrad Barbarossa Frederick Berenger.”
“Wow. You have a powerful name! I’m impressed. But there’s more, isn’t there.”
“There is NO REASON IN THE WORLD why you would ask me that” said Conrad.
“I know things,” said Barry. He smiled smugly.
“But we’ve only met three times in three years.”
“Ha, ha. I know things. Spill it.”
“Conrad Barbarossa Frederick Berenger,” Conrad paused, “the XV.”
Barry bolted up out of the bean bag chair and burst out laughing. “The XV? You’re joking, right?
“No.” Conrad looked down and shifted his feet. “My ancestor was a king or something, and the name has been passed down ever since.”
Conrad’s head spun again.
A man stood between Barry and Conrad, and the three of them looked down at another man sitting in a big wooden chair. He wore a crown and a fancy robe.
In an instant, Conrad knew the heart of the man. Wickedness, debauchery, adultery, and immorality plagued his heart. Conrad turned towards Barry. “Where are we? Who is that?”
The man in the middle said, “One day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.”
“I have heard that before but could never figure out what it means. It’s from the Bible,” said Conrad.
“Yes. It’s from God’s word,” said man in the middle.
Conrad looked back at the man in the chair. “He has done many horrible things to many people. He should die for his crimes.”
“Yes. He should die for his crimes, but, you should, too. God sees into your heart like you are seeing into his heart.”
“But I’m not that bad.”
“God’s holiness will consume all sinfulness, big or small,” said the man in the middle.
“So, then, why does he not die right now before God? Why has been allowed to live all these years and do all those horrible things?” said Conrad.
“One day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. What seems like a long time to you, is no time to God. The man will die, but God does not want a single soul to perish. He is patient. A lot of good is still to come from this soul.”
“How could any good come from this man? He is wicked through and through,” said Conrad.
“With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Actually, YOU depend upon my patience with him, too.”
“How could I possibly depend upon him?” asked Conrad.
“His name is Conrad Barbarossa Frederick Berenger, the first.”
Conrad blinked. He stood looking down at the empty bean bag chair. In a moment he understood that he stood right here, right now, by God’s grace. His time had come, though. He had been running from God for a long time, but no longer.
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