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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)

TITLE: What If?
By K.D. Manes


“Hi, my name’s Susan.”
“Hi Susan.” Twenty plus people comprising a wide age range joined me in a circle.

Come on Sue. You can do this! I told myself while twirling a strand of hair around my finger.

“Umm, well…as most of you know, this is my first meeting at CA. I’m not exactly sure what to expect, but I have finally come to realize AND admit – I ‘m a Control Addict.”

PHEW! Taking a deep breath, I exhale slowly.

“Tell us a little about yourself, Susan.” The leader urged.

“Okay…I’m a strategizer. I have a dozen “mental fixes” for every possible scenario gone wrong…I’m a Bremmer. Bremmer’s are hard workers. We say what we mean and mean what we say…Creeds and high standards shape me…I’ve always strived to live up to them.”

Sitting taller, I continued. “I’m an architect. Possibilities are endless with homes and buildings. Transforming, maneuvering, calculating, building, manipulating…it’s what I know and do best…I LOVE sitting in the driver’s seat.” Understanding nods greeted me.

“At what point, Susan, did you realize your addiction?”

“Well, I was asked to devise blue prints for a famous businessman on the east coast. He offered to pay my flight to New York where we would consult. Excitement quickly evaporated, however, when a barrage of what if’s assaulted me. What if I get stuck in traffic? What if the airport alarm beeps? What if I can’t find my gate…or lose my ticket…or get lost?”

Heart racing and trembling limbs threatened to melt any remnant left of my ego. A warm comforting hand alighted on my shoulder.

“Go on, Susan.” The leader prompted.

“Exhausted, my arrival at the airport finally transpired. Surprisingly, everything went rather smooth; so far, anyway.”

“Phew!” A uniform response resounded.

“In fact, I had time to kill. However, my newest fear - flying - found me pacing the hallways. I’ll just freshen up, I thought, hoping that would deter my fears…Attached to a corner wall and floor, in the spacious restroom, sat an automatic chrome shoe shiner. I couldn’t resist. If first impressions landed a contract, I’d knock the guy off his feet! After inserting some coins, I grabbed the machine handle. Carefully, I set my foot against the buffer as instructed on the read-out.”

Beads of perspiration formed on my brow. Breathe, Sue. With clenched fists, I verbally relived my ‘breaking point.’ “To my horror – when I bent over to observe the powerful spinning buffer - my purse handle caught in the motor!”

Gasps echoed. Wringing my hands together; shaking my head in disgust, I continued. “Everything I needed – I.D., money, graph paper, discs, you name it - were about to be eaten!... A declaration of war proceeded...I pulled as though my life depended on it! After what seemed like hours, my purse strap finally snapped; flinging me backwards, smack-dab into the trash can!”

My new friends squirmed in their seats. More than a few cheeks glistened under the fluorescent lighting.

“Mortified, I wriggled and kicked. But, the more I tried to free myself, the more lodged in I became! I really don’t know how long I’d been stuck. It was the janitor who heard my hysterical cries for help. He handed me a brown bag and said, “Easy Lass, breathe nice and slow.” After gaining my composure, he grinned and remarked, “I see you’ve been canned!” Believe it or not, I laughed, realizing – yes, I’ve lost my dignity, but I’m still alive – even though I missed my flight.

While wiping the trash can with Vaseline, he says in a serious tone, “Do you know the son of God took our place in the hot seat?” He held my attention. “The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:6, All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” He continued, “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21.”

“All my life I’ve been in the driver’s seat with God in the backseat. In my heart, I knew I was a sinner. So when he told me, “If you believe in your heart and confess with your lips, Jesus is Lord, you will be saved,” I acted in faith.

“Now, God is in the driver’s seat." Phew! "I know I’ll spend eternity with him…I‘m learning, He is my Prince of Peace.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Wood02/18/10
A great reminder to us because we also fear those what ifs. Jesus should be our pilot and we sit beside Him. Thanks for your humorous and yet serious reminder to us to turn the control over to Jesus.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/18/10
Great message along with a chuckle here and there. Good job.
Mildred Sheldon02/19/10
Thank you for this true and funny story about what if moments. Letting go and Letting God run things is a life long lesson, but once learned life turns into a joyous trip. Trials, tribulations and all.
harvestgal Ndaguba02/19/10
Truely loved this story. Funny but so good. I could clearly picture everything. Wow. Thanks for this reminder.
Amanda Brogan02/24/10
I loved the Christian janitor! I think everyone should be able to witness that easily, using whatever situation that comes up to point people to God. Great ending! At that point, I could see what you meant about being a "control addict." Love the humor! :)
Amanda Brogan02/25/10
Congrats on your highly commended entry! :D