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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Riding the Wind
By Amanda Williams


Riding the Wind

John looked over at his better half of more than fifty years, relishing in the joy of the moment. Ellie had never looked more beautiful and he had never felt as young. The instructor was checking harnesses and saying some gibber jabber on his walkie talkie, but all John could hear was the healthy beat of his heart as his eyes swept across God’s glorious creation. The canyon was deep, colored with the hues of the sunset. Only the Lord himself could have orchestrated such a vision.

Suddenly, the words of disapproval from Paul, their youngest, echoed in his ears. Truly, his children would be horrified if they could see their parents teetering on the edge of a precipice just waiting to jump and glide through the air like a couple of majestic eagles. His granddaughter, Kari, would say something like, “Rock on, Papa!”, while his sons and their well meaning wives would turn white and have visions of straight jackets and retirement villages. Ha! Never! After thirty years of teaching high school students the difference between adjectives and adverbs, he and Ellie were finally taking their time. Nevertheless, the last conversation he had with Paul and Johnny replayed in his mind.

“Dad….” Paul was shaking his head while looking at the book of brochures both he and Ellie had put together in order to better explain their trip to the loved ones they so cherished. “What are you guys doing?” He looked at his older brother for help.

Johnny’s expression was more about concern than frustration. “What’s this about? Are you dying? Is mom sick?”

John couldn’t help but laugh. “We’re all dying, Son.”

“That’s not funny, Dad.”

“But it’s true. Your mother and I don’t need an excuse to take a trip.”

Paul rolled his eyes. “But this is no regular trip. You guys are hiking, scuba diving….”

Johnny flipped through the notebook. “Paragliding?”

John ran his fingers through his gray hair. “Boys, your mother and I have done things by the rules; loved God, one another, and our family. We’ve been responsible, tax paying citizens. Bills have been paid and college educations have been funded.”

Paul got off the couch and looked out the front window of the thirty year old house. “It’s not about the money, Dad.” He turned to look at his father and John knew that he had unintentionally hurt his youngest. Paul was not a rich man, but he had always made it crystal clear he wasn’t waiting on, nor did he expect an inheritance. “You know that, right?”

“I do, Son. But it is about time and opportunity. Your mother and I are set for whatever happens in our later years, but neither of us wants to stay home and allow routine to set in. We have good health and one another. We want to celebrate.”

His older son looked at him with a smile and teary eyes. “By paragliding?”

“By living.”

Ellie’s gentle voice brought him back to the present. “Ready, Love?”

His face lit up like a Christmas tree as he gave her the thumbs up sign.

“On three?”

He nodded.

“One, two…….three!”

He could hear her laughing all the way down.

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This article has been read 655 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/13/08
Beautiful, seamless transition from the present to the flashback and back again. I really love your approach to the topic.
Joanne Sher 03/15/08
This is wonderful - just right for the topic, and absolutely beautifully crafted and told. I hope this does well. Just lovely.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/15/08
This is a delightful snapshot of a wonderful old/young-at-heart couple. I identified because I taught adjectives and adverbs for 37 years. You did a great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/15/08
This is a delightful snapshot of a wonderful old/young-at-heart couple. I identified because I taught adjectives and adverbs for 37 years. You did a great job.
Laury Hubrich 03/15/08
Oh! What a wonderful story! I don't even know why it was up on my computer but I read it anyway and so glad that I did! What great writing! And I love your title and just LOVE LOVE LOVE your ending!
Marilyn Schnepp 03/16/08
Absolutely delightful! Loved this entry and written so eloquently! "Go John and Ellie, Go!" Riding the wind and enjoying life! What a neat, creative story! PLUS, it's right on target topic-wise! Kudos!
Jason Swiney03/16/08
Very nice story & right on topic. If that is not the time to enjoy your life, when is?

Thanks for sharing.
Sheri Gordon03/20/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. This is a great example of the topic, and a wonderful lesson to all of us. Nice job.
Jan Ackerson 12/31/08
Amanda, I've just come upon this story again, and I've decided to feature it in the Front Page Showcase for the week of January 5. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page, and congratulations!