Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Rest( 01/17/13)
By Phee Paradise
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I stacked each raft carefully, knowing I risked the precious cargo, even though the boards were solid and the water was smooth. The first raft held my writing. I stacked manuscripts filled with words – my words, my ideas, my stories – in the middle of the raft. As I shoved it out into the water, I imagined the sodden mass of wet paper it would turn to if even one little wave lapped over it. My heart was heavy, but I knew the One who awaited it.
The next raft was for the possessions I loved too well. Somehow, my house rested solidly on the foundation of the raft, a perfect little doll house. There was the kitchen with so many helpful appliances. There were the furnishings, couch and lamps and pictures that all cost too much. There were the books and computers and TVs. I pushed it after the first raft, not knowing how I would live without it.
It was almost a relief to center the lesson plans, tests and grade books in a square on their raft. Lazy mornings with a cup of coffee and a newspaper would be welcome. So would evenings spent reading a good book instead of grading papers. Even so, I thought of the smiles of students who had learned and grown through a demanding semester. It was harder than I expected to send this one away.
I wondered at the next pile - Sunday School and Bible study books, encouraging notes to friends, lists of tasks that needed doing. I had acquired these in service to the King. Why would He ask for them back? I put them on the bare boards, remembering those I had touched. A child’s arms around my waist in a quick hug. The tears of a friend. A light of understanding in the eyes of teenager. The raft turned a little as I pushed it out, as if reluctant to go.
Before I loaded the last raft I sat among the things left on the beach. I put my daughter’s Mickey ears on my head and picked up her hairbrush running my fingers over it, picking out a stray hair. My son’s baseball was heavy in my hand but I tossed it in the air a few times. Other items caught my eye – a book borrowed from my sister, a note from my father. My hands trembled as they piled the memories of those I loved best onto the raft. Last of all, I balanced my wedding ring at the top. I waded out into the water, holding the edge as long as I could. But, with tears in my eyes I finally let it go. He who walked on water would watch over those I loved.
Now my work is done. I rest on the shore hugging my knees and gaze across the water. I have released all that stood between me and the Kingdom of God. His peace washes over me and I am content. I await the morning when I will receive what He sends back to me.
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