Writer’s Quill Winning Story!


Katherine Milliken

Graphic by Katherine Milliken using Canva.

Welcome back to the Writer’s Quill! After much deliberation, we finally have a winning story for our last Writer’s Quill contest! Please join me in congratulating Maya Decker, and enjoy her winning story below.

Stay tuned for the next Writer’s Quill contest!

The Road to Happiness
Maya Decker (Grade 9)

As six year old Jonathon lay in bed that night clutching his stuffed bear named Oswald, he missed his father deeply. Jonathon’s father was a missionary, and had been gone for almost a year now. Jonathon’s mother heard him tossing under the blankets, and came inside the room.

“What is wrong, Jonathon?” his mother asked. “I miss Father”, said Jonathon, “and I want him to come back home.” “Remember Jonathon”, said his mother, “that if we trust in God everything will turn out well. Father will be fine, and will come home soon. We pray for him every night, and God will keep him safe. Now go to sleep, Jonathon, and maybe when you wake up there will be a letter from him.” After his mother had left the room, Jonathon thought to himself, “My father is so brave. One day I will live my life for God like he does.” And with that, still holding Oswald, he fell asleep.
Twenty years later, 26 year old Jonathon was resting after a long Friday working. Both his parents had passed away during an epidemic, and he now worked at a bank. Jonathon had been working tirelessly for weeks on end, and as he organized his plans for another day of work, he felt lonely and restless. He knew that as a Catholic he should be going to Church every Sunday and to Confession regularly, but Jonathon hadn’t been going. Instead, on Sundays and during his time away from working, he usually went out with his friends, played games, and went to restaurants. Tomorrow was Saturday, and he had already made plans to stay up very late with his friends.

As the sun set, Jonathon was leaving the bank for the night. He saw a figure coming down the street, and went over to see what it was. Jonathon found the figure to be a man, and the man looked like he was poor.

“Who are you?” asked Jonathon.

“I am Brother James”, said the man, ” Who might you be? I live at the monastery in town, but I seem to have lost my way. Can you point me in the right direction?”

“Yes”, said Jonathon, ” My name is Jonathon, and I know where the monastery is. But why do you not have better clothes on? It is a cold night, and we might get some snow tonight,”

Brother James replied, “I am a monk, and we rely on the generosity of others for our belongings. The clothes I am wearing now were donated to me, but I am happy because by doing this I am serving the Lord. Everything we do is for the glory of God.”

Jonathon was confused. “How can you be happy by living poor? I thought you had to have money and entertainment to be happy.” Jonathon said.

The monk chuckled kindly. “No, my son, the only thing you need in your life in order to be happy is God. There is nothing this world can give you that God can’t. God is the road to happiness.”

By then, Jonathon and the monk had arrived at the monastery. “Thank you so much for leading me back here,” said Brother James. “God’s peace be with you” he said, and then went inside the monastery.

Instead of going to a restaurant like he had planned, Jonathon went back to his apartment. He thought deeply about what the monk had told him, and about how Brother James was so happy even though he had practically no earthly goods. As Jonathon went to bed that night, he prayed for the first time in years that God would lead him on the right path.

The next morning, instead of going to work at the bank, Jonathon resigned from his job. He then went to the monastery, where he met Brother James again. “What can I help you with?” Brother James asked.

“I have chosen to become a monk,” replied Jonathon. “God has called me to live here, and I must follow his calling. I am following the road to happiness.”

Brother James was overjoyed at this news. “God manifests himself in many different ways”, he said, “I am very glad that you have chosen to obey His calling.”

Jonathon, now Brother Jonathon, unpacked his boxes with all his belongings inside. As he was unpacking, he came across Oswald, his old stuffed bear. He looked at the shabby, moth-eaten old thing and smiled at it affectionately. “I’m home, old friend,” he said.

A few years later, Jonathon was walking down the street and saw a young man coming towards him. The man looked distressed and lost. Brother Jonathon walked up to him and said, “Who might you be? I am Brother Jonathon, and I live at the monastery in town. I seem to have lost my way. Can you point me in the right direction?”