Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
TITLE: You lead, I'll follow
By Phillip Cimei
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That sliver taken out of eternity, called time, faded as I inhaled my first breath of forever. The reality of my endless fate began to tug at my spirit. An anxious trembling overtook me as I surveyed this limitless expanse of brightness that surrounded me. Then this new world came into focus. Celestial sights and sounds preempted a disrobing of my control.
A magnetic force drew me toward voices. Faint at first, but they grew louder and louder like tempestuous waves encroaching the shore—gentle whispers caressing the coral, then a crescendo of thunderous crashes.
“Where am I going?” I asked myself as the sea of transformed souls started to part like the Red Sea at the command of Moses. There I stood and watched the divide grow larger and larger.
The voices had become an increasingly disconcerting mixture of soothing bouquets of praise and thanksgiving blended with harrowed screams, cries of anguish, and torturous mourning. And beyond the sea of perplexity was a glowing figure. A mesmerizing figure with every eye fixed upon its majestic glory.
My body became powerless. I not only felt a force I struggled with, but a tugging to move toward a glorious radiating figure. My mind searched and reeled for some semblance of understanding. Then a thought had come to me.
“Yes!” I screamed out as I quickly moved toward the head of this massive gathering. “It is the promised Messiah; I have come to receive my reward for my undaunting service to His people.” But I was unnerved by the growing sense of sadness that was crushing my innermost being. So, I played back in my mind all that I had accomplished and what I was promised. “Yes!” I screamed in delight as I pounded my chest, “What I was promised.”
Born a Levite, I labored tirelessly gathering wood for the sacrifices, removed the entrails of animals, and often vomited while washing the putrid blood form the temple floor. I attended to every word my forefathers spoke. My relentless dedication proved worthwhile. I became a priest of the highest order. I spoke and all listened. Surely, I will receive the highest honor. The Lord will praise me and use me in His rule on David’s thrown. Then a disquieted feeling thrust my hands to my face.
Flashes of my past, like disjointed nightmares, whisked by as I passed those moving forward on my left — a beggar I had ignored, an adulterous woman I condemned, and a healed sabbath breaker. They dawned a consoling frown. “What arrogance,” I screamed out. “I will certainly mention this to my Lord.” I now was at the front of the line, “The Lord will wipe that demeaning grin you bear right off your irreverent faces.” I let out a huff. “Such insolence will be rewarded, I’m sure. Humph!”
A force swept over me as if hands were grasping my shoulders and forcing me down. I threw my shoulders from one side to the other. Contempt for this compulsion gripped my soul. As I knelt, my eyes immediately focused on the Lord.
“Lord, Lord,” I screamed out, “why do I feel so restrained?” My head now compelled to bow. My spirit struggled against a rip tide of condemnation as He spoke.
“Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven,”
“But… but Lord, I was a dutiful son. I was your servant who spoke every word you had our forefathers pass down.” I tirelessly studied your every precept.”
The Lord did not say another word, but motioned with His head to the right. I looked in that direction and a figure appeared. It was faintly familiar, but I was confused. Then a tap on my shoulder.
“That is the one you refused to help on the road to Jericho, and I was silly enough to follow your callus disregard. So now I too face punishment.”
I groaned miserably as the words fell from the Lord’s lips, “Depart from me you that work iniquity.”
“I’m sorry…give me another…Lord, Lord!” I cried out as my teeth ground out futile pleas. I vanished into damnation.
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