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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: A LEG UP ONTO JACOB'S LADDER
By Colin Swann
02/03/11


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I meant business – I tossed my rucksack on the bed, took out my study tools and carefully placed them on the desk by the window before sinking into the comfy chair. Wow, what a view! A pastoral painting by the Great Artist!

This picturesque retreat was perfect to balance out the austerity of my day of fasting and working through the Bible.

Would my struggling days with the Word of God be over when I'd completed this self-help manual 'Through the Bible in 24 hours'? Laying there betwixt notepad and Scriptures it seemed to shout at me Get down to it then, no time to waste. I was determined to finish this course.

The study was an overview of God's Word – but an encouraging one, as reviewers of the book had stated. After slogging away for the first 6 hours, I felt pleased that I'd sprinted up to my target goal in the allotted time span: to the Psalms!

As if scheduled, tea and chocolate biscuits were delivered to my room, in spite of my special request that no food would be required during my stay. My fingers hovered over the plate fluttering in hesitation like a kestrel over a sighted prey below. Succumbing, I persuaded myself it must be God's supply and finished them off. Then I thought about Esau selling his birthright for a bit of stew. Oh Lord, why am I so weak?

During this brief break I witnessed from my window nature's cruelty at its starkest. I was shocked to see a crow with a plump nestling pigeon dangling from its talons speeding off in flight to satisfy its own chicks' insatiable appetites. Retribution came when an adult buzzard gave chase and forced it from the crow. What a terrible fallen world we inhabit.

Battling on – I really enjoyed the prophets: both major and minor! Here I struggled with a moral issue that Hosea had to face – why should he have to marry a prostitute? God must be extremely forgiving if that's how he feels about his relationship with humanity and yet wants to love us.

It was getting dusk - I had another break and so again I peeked out of the window and across the fields. Dark prehistoric-like creatures were streaking about on the wing – mouths snapping like mini-Draculas at juicy insects. Over in the distance a lone fox was zigzagging across a meadow reeling to and fro as if it had made a visit to the brewer's yard and licked up the spillings.

Back to my study - I soldiered on through a long night, doggedly working through the Gospels, intent on digesting all the truths about my Lord Jesus in them. I'm winning – I'm going to finish the course!

The tedium was broken by noises of the night: the screeching of barn owls from their haunts among old farm buildings – two feral tom cats causing noise mayhem, obviously fighting over a feral queen - a vixen's scream (often mistaken for a banshee) that she makes when on heat and in the mating lock with a fox.

Dawn came and went by and I had successfully completed my first intense study of God's Word and all on time.

Over the years I've grown nearer to God because of that initial discipline which set me off on a lifetime's search for intimacy with my Maker through His Word. Much has happened since then to bring me ultimately to this present exciting experience in God.

The University Dean introduced me: We are privileged today to have The Right Reverend Dr. Kenneth Firth – Professor in the Department of Theology to give this morning's lecture on 'Getting Closer to the Maker'.

My nervous heart kept beat with the high volume of the clapping and continued to thump when the applause died down – I felt humbled.

I looked out over the sea of student faces all waiting in eager anticipation. Then I looked down at the speaker's lectern and at my lecture heading:

“CLIMBING JACOB'S LADDER”



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This article has been read 471 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Lynn Culler02/04/11
This was fascinating to me-all the analogies to the animal kingdom. Loved the descriptions.
Laury Hubrich 02/04/11
Wow! Intense project for sure. I'm reading through the Bible in 90 days and that's a challenge in itself. I like how the MC gets drawn to what's going outside his window and makes great analogies. Good work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/04/11
Very interesting and how wonderful that God gave visual study aides in the nature outside the window as well as a needed snack to demonstrate why one might sell his birthright for stew.Great job.
Carol Slider 02/04/11
I read the Bible through each year, but reading it through in 24 hours... wow, that would be difficult. You described the journey very well, and the nature vignettes were a very effective counterpoint. Good job!
Virgil Youngblood 02/04/11
Cramming for a final exam? Test day is coming, sooner or later. A delightful read.
Rachel Phelps02/04/11
What a great thing to do in 24 hours! Your descriptions were very vivid.
william price02/05/11
I have trouble getting through the Bible in a year. Very interesting presentation and enjoyed it.
God bless.
Noel Mitaxa 02/06/11
Vivid images, noises and emotions portrayed here with honesty and warmth. A challenging and enjoyable read.
Loren T. Lowery02/07/11
I liked the way the MC considered the subtle messages God was sending his way as he made his way through the Bible. The Bible is made to make us think and consider - and as you've so well pointed out - can be seen in the practical lessons going on right before our eyes. I enjoyed, too, the heart of the MC in seeking God so diligently in not an entirely scholarly way.
Gregory Kane02/09/11
I don't think the author is suggesting that he read through the entire Bible in 24 hours. Rather that he read background notes and selected passages from each book during that time. My audio Bible takes 19 hours to play through and that's only the New Testament.
I liked the way that the narrator fasted during this process, making for an even more uplifting spiritual experience. My own quibble would be that I felt you underplayed your final line (also the title) and that the allusion of Jacob's ladder as a way to get nearer to God could have better been developed earlier in the story.
Lollie Hofer 02/09/11
Interesting take on this week's topic. There's so much in this story...I'll need to read it a couple more times cuz' there's so much here. I do like how the discipline changed his life.