Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
TITLE: The Voice
By Yvonne Blake
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Sometimes they sounded like my father. Billy, you’ll never get anywhere in life lying in bed. Get up, you lazybones! The voice dragged me out of bed by my toes.
I poured a cup of coffee and opened my Bible to the next chapter of II Chronicles. My muddled mind skimmed through the strange names.
What are you doing? This is a waste of time. What good is it to read a bunch of boring names and laws? You’ll never understand it. Besides, wasn’t the Bible written for people who lived thousands of years ago? Things have changed. No one expects you to live your life according to their ways.
I shut the book, even though I usually read a little bit in the New Testament too. Rummaging through the cupboard, I snatched a molasses cookie that Mom baked last night.
Are you going to eat that for breakfast? Have you seen that wiggly blob around your middle? But since you skipped your reading time, you now have time to exercise.
The day didn’t get any better. The low fuel light forced me to find a gas station, but the only one around was Mike’s Garage – where half the pumps didn’t work and I had to go inside to pay. Mike always wanted to chat about the weather and last night’s football game.
I was late by the time I got to the seafood packing plant. The roar of machines and stench of fish smacked me in the face as I opened the grimy door. Barry, a young man with Down’s Syndrome, smiled and waved. Other scruffy-faced guys looked up at me. Some nodded; some scowled; others turned away.
Why do you surround yourself with these worthless characters? You’ll never be successful if you keep hiring these thankless rejects. Barry can’t even tie his own shoes!
All day long, there was one trouble after another. A case of glass jars broke, two workers got in a fight, the new parts for a machine didn’t come in. To top it off, Jack’s wife was in labor earlier than expected, and he always walked to work. So I let him borrow my car. It was one thing after another. At five o’clock, I clutched my head between my hands. It felt like a pressure cooker ready to blow.
Why do you stay at this dead-end job? Now it was the voice of Mister Brock, my history teacher. Don’t you want to be a success in life? You should have gone to college instead of staying home to care for your mom. You could have been the owner of a casino or something that brought in money.
I plopped into an empty seat on the crowded bus.
Look at you now. What a loser! At the traffic light, a red sports car stopped beside us. Wow! Look at that car! You could have owned one, if you had saved the money you give to church or spent on Christmas gifts for that widow’s kids. Did you even get a thank you?
The thought of church reminded me that there was a Bible study and prayer meeting that night. Maybe I’d go. Maybe an evening in God’s house would encourage me.
What?! You’re going to church? They don’t care about you! You’ve had a rough day. You need to lean back with a cold drink and put up your feet.
That evening, just sitting in the pew brought a sense of peace. I found myself whispering, “Lord, I’ve been gone too long. Forgive me.” The pastor taught on humility before a holy God, but as I skimmed down through the verses, one popped out. “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
I now heard a strong and forceful voice. It seemed to speak to the accusing voice. Be gone, O Evil One! You have no power here. This one is mine. He then spoke tenderly, "Draw near to Me, my child, and I will draw near to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
My headache and heartache vanished. I felt renewed and empowered from within. Why should I doubt? Why should I fear? With God as my Father and Defender, nothing and no one can harm me – ever.
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