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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: Walking Through the Wasteland
By Frances Seymour


Susan had been on the mission field of life for two or three years. Out there in another land, she worked hard physically and yet with a happy heart led devotions with workers and with the local church. Susan came back to her hometown a few months ago. Oh, how she looked forward to working and serving in her own local church again. However, she quickly discovered that things were not the same and nothing worked out the way she had envisioned.

It seems that every interest she had in serving at the church, someone else was already doing the task and did not need or want her help. She even offered to begin some new projects like a newsletter or prayer walking in the community but gained no enthusiasm for these ideas either.

Susan felt like other people thought she wanted to come in and take over. All she really wanted was to be an assistant. She didn’t care whether she led any of the areas she was interested in. She only wanted to be a faithful servant and to utilize the gifts that God gave her in service to others. Susan strongly believed that Jesus called all of His followers into servant hood.

Susan even went to work in another church within a group that made her feel very much wanted and needed; yet she sensed a lackadaisical attitude in moving forward from complacency to enthusiasm. Here again, she tossed ideas out to be picked up on but there was no real solid interest in doing anything ‘outside the box.’ And so the dry spell or wasteland—this devastating desert experience was everywhere she turned. On certain days, Susan felt completely and totally engulfed by its windy, chapping dryness.

Susan feels the effects of this dry, rocky and windy place, even today. This place is what she has come to grips with as being the wasteland. As you journey with her, hopefully you will enjoy the scenery and gain insight into her current position.

Walking through the wasteland
Locked in a box.

A place where no one listens,
The hands stopped on the clock.

A place of quiet contentment
No one dares to rock the boat.

So, they go though the motions
Struggling to stay afloat.

Where new ideas are halted,
Since, no one wants to change.

The idealist feels assaulted,
Thought patterns, he can’t rearrange.

As he walks through the wasteland,
Desert sand stings his eyes.

Seeking guidance from God’s hand
Knowing in Him; comfort lies.

He must keep moving ahead.
He’s come too far to turn around.

A few more valleys he may tread
Before God’s way is clearly found.

The idealist will certainly keep doing
What he knows is good and right,

Knowing one day the box will open
And endless ideas will take flight!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

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This article has been read 527 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 12/14/07
You have taken a great scripture from the Bible to depict your thoughts. Nicely done...and Happy Holidays!
Dolores Stohler12/15/07
Your ideas are excellent and your writing is good. I believe, however, that it would have made a better story if you had written in the present tense and drawn your reader in with a little dialogue so we could comfortably get to know your character. Good job, though. Keep writing.
Joanne Sher 12/15/07
I really like the poem especially. Would have loved a bit more in the prose part - maybe some "showing" rather than "telling" would liven this up a bit. (Feel free to PM me if you want clarification on what I'm talking about) Excellent message.
Dee Yoder 12/16/07
Thinking outside the box is often frowned upon in the church. Too bad; many an idealist has gone on to find acceptance and the church flourishes under new leadership sometimes. Good points.
Jan Ackerson 12/17/07
Oh, I hope Susan finds a church that will be happy for her gifts! She can come to mine--we need her!
Lynda Schultz 12/19/07
There is so much here that many of us can relate to. I almost wished you could have been able to submit twice: once as a poem, and then as Susan's personal story. I agree—a little polishing and you have a great piece.