Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)
TITLE: Worth Fighting For
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Through a dreamlike fog, his mind traveled to the place where it all began. He had met his wife at a small café on the edge of town. She was sipping coffee and reading her favorite book, and he was captivated by her beauty. Though he knew nothing about the book she was reading, he approached her casually and mentioned that it was his favorite, too. The rest was history.
After two years, they married. After two more years, they had a baby. Their family grew to five. At first, they lived simply and thrived on love. They were content with their small home and even smaller budget. They were scraping by, but they were happy.
He couldn’t remember the exact point when things began to change, but their priorities shifted. He took on a second job, and she began working extra hours. They wanted a bigger house. They wanted the things they’d gone without for so long. And somewhere in the midst of the pursuit, they lost touch with each other.
The kids had practices, recitals or little league games almost every day—and he hardly saw his wife in the midst of their busy schedules. When they did see each other, they were arguing: about bills, about the kids, about work, about life. But they never stopped. They just kept pursuing and acquiring—believing that as long as their family had all they needed and everything they desired, they were successful. He’d fought so long and so hard to be rich, but in this moment he was fighting for something far greater.
The sound of sirens lured him to consciousness. He was sitting against the base of the oak tree in front of his house—an oxygen mask covering his mouth. Though he didn’t remember how he’d gotten outside, he did remember the voices he’d heard before his world faded to black. He frantically tried to run to battle against the fiery monster that was consuming all he truly loved, but he had no strength and his legs gave out beneath him.
Unfamiliar arms pulled him back to his feet and led him again to the foot of the tree. Tears blurred his vision as he watched what remained of his house collapse to the ground, consuming the remnants of his life. It was then that he heard their voices. He lifted his eyes to see the vision of his wife carrying their youngest, with the older two walking beside her. They were dark from the soot and weak from the fight—but they were a beautiful sight.
With all the strength that remained, he embraced them—not daring to let go. Their tears melted together as the sun began to break through the dark of night. When they finally broke their embrace, all he could do was look to each of their faces and thank God for giving them a second chance.
They’d lost everything they owned. But as he looked toward the ashes of all they’d lost, he realized he had what was truly worth fighting for. In that moment, he finally knew what it meant to be a rich man.
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