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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: Sunny With a Chance of Pride
By Cheryl Beckwith


I would often sneak to my friendís place a few houses over and swim in her above ground pool. I loved to go under water and my friend showed me what swimming was all about. Or so I thought.

I figured I had this swimming thing licked but I could never tell my parents because they would not have patted me on the back for such an accomplishment but would have probably paddled my butt for sneaking around.

Well here I was off to my swimming debut. I was going to wow them all. I would finally get to impress someone with something. I was anything but an impressive child. My claim to fame was the fact that I read books very well. That was impressive in first and second grade but in the sixth grade it was nothing to brag about.

Once we were at the pool we were told that those who could not swim had to stay in the three feet pool. I chickened out and stayed in the shallow end. I should have followed my instincts that maybe I was not a great swimmer and left it at that but I my foolish pride would soon get the best of me.

So here I stood in the three foot section. Let me paint a water color picture for you all.I was a girl of 11 years old and at least 5 foot 5. I am feeling rather embarrassed because all my friends are in the deep end and I was certain my face was red and that people were laughing at me.

This was humiliating and I was wishing I had not even come to this fiasco. Then one of two things happened that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I noticed a little girl who couldnít have been more than six years old ,walk the full length of the pool straight to the high dive.

I couldnít believe my eyes. She climbed right up the ladder as big as you please and jumped right in the water and swam off. That was the straw that broke the camels back. My half grown brain was putting two and two together. If she could do it then so could I.

I marched right up to the ladder and waited my place in line. Once I got to the top I was having second thoughts but I couldnít go back now. Once again my pride took control of me. In I jumped and up I came gasping for air. I had never been in water this deep before. My feet had always touched the bottom.

It threw me off so much that I just kept sinking like a rock. I think I must have either yelled help or just really looked like I needed it. The next thing I knew a whistle blew and everyone was ordered out of the pool. The lifeguard jumped in and drug my sorry little carcass out of there.

I did succeed in making a name for myself that day. For some reason the leaders from our church decided to stay around and have a little more fun, instead of whisking me home to hide my head in shame. Kids from all around the pool asked me, are you the kid who almost drowned?

To this day I do not go under water and I donít go near diving boards.The moral of this story is never lie to your parents, be absolutely sure you can swim before you dive into the deep end and tell your foolish pride to jump in the lake!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 11/17/06
"tell your foolish pride to jump in the lake!" Hehe I loved that line. However, I'm a bit confused about the moral being "don't lie to your parents." We your parents there? I think there should have been a bit more action between you and your parents for the moral to be "don't lie to your parents." Overall though, a good message about how we often let our pride dictate what we do rather than our common sense.
Esther Phillips11/20/06
Great title to your story and a great story on what kids will do. I was a little confused on the 1st of two things that happened. It would have been stronger if the 2nd thing was spelled out, in my opinion. I found a couple of minor error like in the usage of I,me together. All in all, you did a great job and I enjoyed it. Keep writing.
Marilee Alvey11/20/06
Love the title. Paragraph five has a problem with two tenses being used: past and present. I could feel the tug that you felt when you watched that little girl walk up to the high dive. We've all experienced that struggle. Thanks for letting me experience it on someone else for a change!
julie wood11/21/06
Loved the title of this story! I could relate to the story itself, as when I was 11 I took swimming at school and was the only kid in my class who hadn't yet learned to swim and had to learn in the "baby pool." Can relate to the humiliation of that, though I never had the guts to try diving!

The narrative would come more alive with dialogue sprinkled throughout and specific descriptions of the characters included.
Shanti Singh11/22/06
I enjoyed this story. It is something many of us can relate to at least on one level or another. Adding in some dialog would make it shine!