Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: The Ocean of Forgiveness
By Joyce Sykes
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“I don’t have time.”
“Later, dude. I’m young, let me live my life and have some fun.”
“Yea right, the Ocean of Forgiveness? Who says I need forgiveness? I’m just as good as Joe is up there. In fact, I’m a lot better.”
“Sorry, I have no need for that mess. It’s not real any way.”
On and on, the crowds passed the ocean. Their excuses continued, some the same and others, more original.
“Water, what water? I don’t see anything but sand. Hey man, I have to keep running and I’m having trouble hearing you. It’s awful noisy out here today,” one sprinter shouted back after the beckoning wave.
At times, the breakers moved closer to the shore. The water softly lapped against several runners’ shoes. The rest simply bunched up, refusing to give way to the ocean. They desired nothing more than dry land. Other times, the water crept away from the coastline. As individuals passed by, they never realized they were so close, yet so far away from a life-changing event.
Occasionally, some would stop and listen. They heard the proclamations of freedom shouted down through time across the water from the Land of Salvation.
“Forgiveness is yours. Will you not come and allow it to wash over you?”
A few walked out, allowing the water to swirl around their ankles. They were satisfied and wanted nothing more. Several ventured a little deeper, but never past their knees.
“The waves scare me. They are crashing all around. I can’t go deeper, it will kill me. This was deep enough for me.” They shouted aimlessly back to the shore as others continued down the beach.
Amazingly, one weary runner dropped to his knees in exhaustion.
“I .. can’t go .. any further. It’s .. too hard,” panting breathlessly.
As he rested catching his breath, the whispered declarations that flowed from the Land of Salvation over the Ocean of Forgiveness caught his attention. Curious, he slowly rose taking a small step toward the sound.
Each wave seemed to beckon as it crashed on the shore. He listened intently.
“Come all who are weary.”
“Forgiveness is yours. It is abundantly free.”
“Let it cleanse you and refresh you.”
Turning to a walker close by, he questioned.
“Did you hear that?”
“Hear what, man. The waves are extremely loud today. I can barely hear you.”
“But the waves are talking.”
The stroller looked at him strangely and rushed away.
Once more, he looked at the water and listened. The declarations continued, but this time something was very different.
“Hey, hey you! Yea, look! The water has changed colors. It’s red! I’ve never seen water that color before.”
“Oh, okay, if you say so,” the runner hurriedly continued on his way.
Suddenly, a voice rang out over the water, unlike anything he had ever heard.
“The gift of forgiveness is free. I have made it available to all who come into its flow.”
The Voice grabbed the attention of the weary sprinter. Cautiously, he stepped into the water’s edge.
“This is fantastic. It is so warm and inviting.”
“Come deeper. You can come as deep as you desire,” the waves whispered softly in his ears.
Gradually, he continued until he could literally dive in and swim.
“Wow, I can’t believe how free I feel. The deeper I get, the lighter I feel. All my weariness is leaving.”
“Hey, listen up you guys. This is wonderful. There is an abundance of forgiveness, freedom, grace and mercy out here. You can swim in it. It’s free! This is unbelievable! It’s like floating on a bed of love.” The once weary sprinter shouted in amazement to his fellow travelers on the shore. Some looked; one or two actually came in to test the water’s edge for themselves.
However, most runners rushed into the distance, assuming that once more the water had captured a careless jogger. That was the danger of strolling too close to the edge.
Legend had it that the water had hypnotic powers. If someone ever ventured that deep, there would be no return. Once more, the waves had claimed another victim forever trapped in the Ocean of Forgiveness.
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