Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
- TITLE: Refuting the Lie
By Dave Walker
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Jeremy watched his father stride from the room as the harsh words hung, like acrid smoke, in the air. His spirit wilted. He sat hunched on his bed looking out of the open window. The meadow outside glowed -- an emerald green kingdom of lush grass, a stream glistening through willow trees, and rocky outcrops pushing impudently through the surrounding carpet.
The scent of jasmine and the tremulous cooing of a laughing dove wafted into the room, soothing his despair, calling him, it seemed, to look beyond his poor grades and trouncing on the sports field.
From deep within rose a rebellious cry, "I'm not what you think. I'm no loser. I'll show you."
He rose, stuffed a backpack with clothes and toiletries and went downstairs to the kitchen. His father entered as he made sandwiches. "What do you think you're doing?"
"You said it. I'm a loser. I'm sixteen. I don't have to go there any more."
"Where are you going?"
"Don't know yet."
His father sneered as he left, "You'll be back."
Somehow his words didn't affect Jeremy as before. A voice inside insisted, "You're special " and a brass shield of determination deflected the derogatory words.
Jeremy followed the stream till the sun glowed orange. He stopped near a grassy hollow and pulled out his sandwiches. The beauty around him spoke of goodness, purity, loveliness .... and God. He took out his notebook and poetry flowed from his pen. Before he laid his head on a pillow of leaves, he scribbled: "God of this beauty, I need You to come through for me. I'm not clever at school or good at sport, but You've made me who I am. Show me who You are."
He awoke early with the sound of rustling and a hedgehog snuffling through the leaves. He ate his last sandwich and set off along the stream. It became a river. The trees thickened on either side, slowing Jeremy's progress. Still, his spirits were high and he hummed as he walked.
Then he heard splitting wood. Following the sound, he came upon a clearing where a sinewy old man stood, with axe in hand. He looked at Jeremy with eyes like little searchlights. They shone through bushy white eyebrows that matched a beard fanning out from his chin like the bristles of a chimney sweep.
"What are you doing here, young man?" His voice was bold and clear, like an accomplished orator.
Jeremy hesitated, stammered. Then it all came rushing out. "I'm here to win. Everyone scorns me and says I'm a failure, but I know I'm not. I'm here to win."
The old man put down his axe, walked across and, with a hand on his shoulder, said, "Come inside, lad and have some lunch."
Over the meal, Jeremy poured out his heart ending with how he had left the derision behind and set off to prove himself. "And with God's help, I will."
"God's help? But do you know God, son? Do you talk to Him? Do you know who He is?"
"I know He made everything beautiful. I see it all around, so He must be good."
Slowly, the old man turned his piercing eyes on him. "Do you know, the people back home are right. You are a failure. No, no, sit down. Let me explain." He pushed Jeremy down. "Let me read something to you." He opened a worn old Bible. "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain."(Ps.127:1) He turned the pages. "You are my God; apart from You, I have no good thing."(Ps. 16:2) He moved further on. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."(Ro 3:23)
Jeremy's eyes were wide. "But what does that mean?"
"It means if you don't do, for God's glory, what He has created you to do, you've failed."
"But how do I know what that is?"
"First you must get right with Him. Let His Kingdom come in your heart. Jesus died for all your failures. In Him you're no failure. Ask Him to forgive you and come into your life. Then ask God what He has made you for, and do it for His glory."
Jeremy's face was alive. "Will you show me how?"
"Of course, my boy. Stay as long as you like, till you're walking in God's will. Then go back to your father and show him how to win."
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