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©Destinyís Challenge

by author E. Motketsan


"You have it within you to be something great. You can do anything you want to do. Youíre intelligent, youíre talented, and we have given you every opportunity to succeed. All you have to do is apply yourself."

His fatherís words still echoed in Davidís head more than thirty years later. David had been a junior in high school when his father read his ACT and SAT scores. David never considered himself very smart and always received average grades in school. For the most part, school had never interested him. The teachers were boring, the studies uninteresting, and David was usually caught daydreaming and staring off into space. But his father always had such high hopes for him and demanded that he put forth more effort. His test scores only proved that his father was right and David had just been lazy. He remembered looking down at the test scores as his father handed them back and left his room. He scored in the top four percent of the nation across the board. He tried to convince himself that he was just good at taking tests and wasnít really that smart, not intelligent smart like some of the kids in the class.

David smiled and looked out over the night sky wondering if his father did more harm than good when he said he could be something great. His father actually had him convinced that it might be true. Maybe it was possible that he could do something extraordinary. To become a scientist and produce some new theory, or to invent something that would change the world. Maybe create a unique symphony of music or write the great American novel. But now, time has past and the dream of greatness seems to have faded somewhere between the reality of making a living and the sense that he has become complacently average.

If it were his fate to do something that made a difference, would it not have happened by now? Has he chased down the wrong avenues in pursuit of excellence, or has it eluded him because his destiny lies in the mediocrity of lifeís foolish dreams. In my twenties I searched in the field of music, my thirties brought me to science, and in my forties it was the written word. I have reached inside of myself and have come up empty. The endless possibilities of discovering something unique within himself seemed to have a finite number now. David had burnt the candle at both ends for so long that he feared now that the spirit has weakened, for sure the body has. No longer could he stay the course for three days without any sleep. No longer does the creative insight come in a dream to be remembered the next morning. The bright candle that once illuminated a childís awe and guided the man to the heavens and back again, was flickering into the hot melted wax.

David looked through the patio door and saw his son busily working on his homework. It occurred to him that his greatest achievement must lie with his son. He is unique in that he has all the best of David and his wife. He is truly a great kid. And that is not just a fatherís pride talking. I have seen lots of kids and they drive me absolutely insane, but my son is not like the others. He is a ten-year-old boy who has the experience of a forty-year-old man. His common sense and knowledge astound me at times. His generosity and caring nature frightens me because I wonder how many will take advantage of it. But then, I would not want it any other way. So, maybe he is my greatness achievementómy contribution to the world.

David turned back to look at the stars in the heavens. Or is that just me giving up and taking the easy road to try to justify my existence through my son. He looked out at the many stars on this summer night and just as he was about to walk inside, a shooting star streaked across the sky. A smile grew across his lips and something inside of him seemed to awaken. He felt that familiar chill in the air as goose bumps appeared across his arms. There was still time to try other things, learn new concepts, and dream new dreams. I have not taken my last breath. I still have passion and I may just have the energy to pull off one last grasp for the golden ringóafter all, it is my destiny.



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