Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)
TITLE: Are You There God?
By Perry Stearnes
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“Hey Munchkin! Does your mommy know you’re out? We thought you had to be in before the sun went down!” Caleb held his peace as he continued his walk home from the arcade. It’s hard to believe he once enjoyed the company of the guys that are now ridiculing him. Finding salvation isn’t the most popular thing for an adolescent. Jesus isn’t considered “cool” with the “in crowd”. Now, he has to endure the constant belittling from his fellow classmates. He is at a point of wondering if God is really there for support.
In an attempt to make the other boys think they aren’t getting to him, he yells back, “I’ll be fine, but thanks for your concern!” Once said, he thinks to himself, “Man! Is that the best I can come up with?”
He arrives home and walks in to see his mother putting dinner on the table. She looks up with a smile and says, “Talk about perfect timing. You always seem to know when it’s chow time. Maybe you have a sixth sense you haven’t shared with us.”
His mother seems to always have a great attitude, which has to be tough with her husband being deployed in Afghanistan. Caleb smiles in response then goes to wash his hands. Returning to the table, he says, “Wow, Mom! Is company coming over tonight? You made a feast.”
“No, I just had a really good day and thought I would go all out tonight. After you stuff your face with this, there’s your favorite coconut cake waiting on you.”
“Mmmmm, that sounds good! You know I’ll dive into that. What’s got you in such a good mood?”
As she is spooning some mashed potatoes onto her plate, she replies, “I don’t know. I woke up this morning with a song in my heart and God has kept it going all day long.”
“Must have been a really good song”, he says with a slight giggle. “I sure wish I could find one.”
His mother gives him a look of concern and asks, “Are you having trouble with those guys again?”
He puts down his silverware and says, “I don’t know what to think. They just keep flinging insults at me. I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but it’s really depressing dealing with the constant badgering. You would think I signed up with the Nazis or something.”
Seeing the despair in his face, she says, “Don’t let their childish behavior get to you. To quote Jesus, ‘They have their reward’.”
“I know, but when I got saved, I thought life would be better. Instead, it seems to have gotten tougher. When I was hanging out with them before and doing what they were doing, they seemed to like me. Now, there are only a couple of people that treat me like I’m human. Why can’t I be a Christian and still be liked?”
His mother sits quiet for a moment trying to come up with the words to ease his anguish. “Do you remember that man in the Bible that got spit on, slapped, tortured and eventually killed for his beliefs?”
Caleb rolls his eyes and says, “Yes Mom; I know you’re talking about Jesus.”
“Well, while you roll your eyes, remember this; He died so you could have a better life. In fact, he died so you could have life. Something else you need to remember; God made you a promise when you became one of his children. He said he would always be there and never ever desert you.”
“It seems like I’m waddling through life all by myself. When will He step in and fix all this? I almost think I was better off before.”
His mother developed a stern look on her face. “Whoa there! Let’s back up a minute. What if God had the same attitude about you? Do you think He needs you in order for Him to be happy? He said He threw your sins as far as the east is from the west. That means He is looking ahead at your future and not back at your past.”
When Caleb heard that, it felt like a punch in the face. He knew she was right. Later, as he was getting ready for bed, he prayed, “Thank you God for opening my eyes. I am so grateful you have forgotten my past. I promise that just as you haven’t looked back, neither will I. Amen.”
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