Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)
TITLE: The Worry Trap
By Tim Brown
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Sam: I’ve got this huge school project that’s become so time-consuming I can’t get anything else done. I can’t believe the teacher assigned it right before vacation.
Bill: What’s the project?
Sam: I’ve got to write a 2,000 word essay on the Hubble Telescope. 2,000 words! That’ll take forever.
Bill: I thought you liked learning about space and things like that.
Sam: I do, but did you hear…2,000 words. That’ll take all vacation and I won’t get to have any fun.
Bill: How much have you gotten done on it?
Sam: I’ve thought a lot about it, but haven’t really done much else. Just thinking about it is using up all my free time, so think how bad it will be when I actually start. I’ll be writing day and night all week long. I wish I’d never taken that class.
Bill: It sounds like you’re spending all your time worrying and none of it on the actual project.
Sam: Of course I’m worried. I forgot to mention that this project counts for 50% of my grade. If I don’t do well, I’ll fail the class. So, I’ve got a lot to worry about.
Bill: I hate to disagree, but you have nothing to worry about.
Sam: What! Haven’t you listened to anything I’ve said?
Bill: Yeah, I’ve listened. But you’re forgetting something very important.
Sam: What’s that?
Bill: Don’t you remember our Sunday School class last week?
Sam: What about it?
Bill: The teacher talked about the problem of worry and gave us a great verse to show we don’t have to worry about anything if we’re a child of God.
Sam: Oh yeah. I remember something about that, but I’ve been so worried I didn’t even think about it. What was that verse again.
Bill: Philippians 4:6. It tells us not to worry, but take the problem to God with a thankful heart and realize that he is big enough to help you through it. When you do, his peace will fill you and you can look for his way to solve the problem.
Sam: Well, I bet the author didn’t have to worry about writing a 2,000 word essay.
Bill: Did you hear what you just said?
Bill: That an author didn’t have to worry about writing a 2,000 word essay.
Sam: What? Oh…but I bet he didn’t have to write 2,000 words.
Bill: Are you sure about that? That verse is found in Philippians chapter 4. If each chapter has 500 words, than he did write 2,000 words.
Sam: I’ve read Philippians before and it didn’t take that long. Are you sure there are 2,000 words in it.
Bill: My guess is that it has more. Sam, you’ve focused so much on that number you’ve let it scare you. If you had followed Philippians 4:6-7 you wouldn’t have wasted so much time worrying.
Sam: How can I do that?
Bill: First, go to God and tell him about how hard the assignment is and how worried you are. Then ask him to calm you down and look for a way to solve the problem rather than worrying about it.
Sam: Ok. Then what?
Bill: Well, you’re pretty good at typing. An average typist can type anywhere from 200 to 250 words in five minutes. Let’s say you type 200 words in five minutes. How long would it take you to type 2,000 words?
Sam: Let’s see…that would be 200 words ten times, at 5 minutes a time would equal 50 minutes. Wait a minute. That’s less than an hour.
Bill: Now you’re beginning to understand. Also, there’s a lot of information on the web about the Hubble, so your research shouldn’t take much time either. I mean, it even has its own website with information and pictures.
Sam: Hmmmm. I see where you’re going.
Bill: Since you enjoy learning about space, don’t you think you’d enjoy learning about things the telescope has discovered?
Sam: Yeah, I would.
Bill: In fact, my guess is that once you get started, you’re going to complain that writing 2,000 words isn’t enough.
Sam: I think you’re right. You know…I think the only thing time-consuming about this project was the wasted time worrying about it. Now, I can’t wait to get home to start work on it. Thanks!
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