Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)
TITLE: Liam Marsh Finds Purpose on the Way to Mars!
By Susan Gurney
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“Oops—that was me again. Everything’s under control… Now where is that dustpan? I had it a few minutes ago when I broke that platter…”
Chef Gronski’s red face appeared around the prep counter. “Mr. Marsh, I have come to the conclusion that the ship’s kitchen is not for you. That’s the fourth dish you broke today unloading the dishwasher…and yesterday you broke how many?”
“Five—no, six—sir. I’m sorry. It’s just that they are so hot when they come out of the dishwasher…”
“But, son, when I had you loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher you were breaking even more! We only have a limited supply of china and crystal on board. Those sitting at the Captain’s table deserve our very best…and our best is breakable. We wouldn’t want our first class passengers eating off economy class plastic-ware, would we? Oh, and if our ‘A.G.’ ever went off-line again, I shudder to think of all that broken glass floating around. When Artificial Gravity goes out it is certainly quite enough just dodging passengers!”
“Sir, if I promised not to touch anything glass could I still work in the kitchen?” Liam Marsh pleaded.
“Mr. Marsh, don’t you think you would be happier doing something more in line with your talents? I’ve tried having you scrub pots and you took hours to finish. I’ve had you working the prep line and you nearly cut off your thumb. –And your attempts at stowing away the clean dishes have only created more dirty ones!”
“But Chef Gronski, the steward had me making beds, swabbing floors--even shelving books in the library--and I failed miserably. I’m either too short or too slow or too clumsy or too...! I can’t do anything right! I have to have some kind of job or the Captain will lock me up for being a stowaway!”
“Lad, I still don’t know how you managed to stowaway on TransSpace 202.”
“Well, I hung around the New Mexico TransSpace Launching Station every day until I could slip into line with a large family whose son visited the restroom right before boarding time. At the last minute--in the confusion of the family trying to locate the boy--I managed to slip past the boarding crew. --Then I hid in one of the on-board luggage lockers until we blasted off.”
“You won’t be missed?”
“No. I’m an orphan. I was living in one of those family-style group homes. I just walked away, hitched to New Mexico, and now I’m here, bound for Mars. I’m hoping they will let me be a Mars colonist, but…”
“But...you have no skill to offer the colony?”
“Right! --But it’s not just that. I don’t feel like I have a purpose. I’m just a big—well, small and short—NOBODY.”
“Mr. Marsh, everyone has a purpose in this life—most importantly that of bringing glory to your Maker. –And the best way to do that is to find a job that you love doing and then do with your whole heart. That will bring pleasure and joy to you…and glory to your Lord. –What is that uproar?”
“Sir, it looks like a big group of little kids and a lady…”
“Mr. Marsh, go out and see what they want.”
Liam hurried to the young woman and asked, “What’s up?”
The woman spoke loudly over the clamoring children, “The children are hungry and we’ve run out of snacks in the preschool. They were getting restless and I decided on a ‘field trip’ to the dining room.”
“Gosh, you must have eighteen kids. Don’t you have any help?”
“No…the head teacher and her assistant were quarantined back in New Mexico with the mumps, of all things! I’m the only staff member who made it, and I can’t find anyone to help me.”
“Wait a minute--I know someone who would love to help! He’s experienced at playing with little kids—feeding and dressing them—even reading to them! Besides that, he’s charming and...”
“Really? --And where can I find this Wonder Man?”
“Right here! Liam Marsh, age fourteen… --And I’ve been trying to find my purpose. Let me tell you where I lived for the last three years… You see, I was one of the oldest kids in my foster group home and I helped my house-parents raise a lot of little kids… Wait! Chef Gronski,” shouted Liam, “I don’t think I’ll need this apron anymore!”
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