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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)

TITLE: Lifelong Challenge
By Lisa Keck


After less than a week, Laurel had decided Camp Under The Pines was her favorite place ever. At first she was bummed because the church had changed camps. She’d heard so much about Camp By The Lake and its blob. Except for the bats in the chapel this place was pretty awesome. The little kids got to sleep in wagon trains and there was a bridge up on the high school camp that had mistletoe growing over it. Sometimes a boy would take a girl there, hoping for a kiss.

Because of the bat invasion chapel was at the fire circle, a large half-circle with bleachers built right into the cement. During the day there was no fire but at night flames glowed lightly behind whoever was on the speakers’ platform. All week the different youth pastors had shared what it meant to be a Christian and admonished the youth, who would all be freshmen next year to stay in church because it would help them stay true to their faith.

On the last night, Sal the tall lanky youth pastor from her church had spoken. This was his first summer camp since he’d been hired last September. Laurel liked Sal and his wife Ivy. They were easy to talk to. The guitarist strummed the final notes of the song as Sal joined him on the platform. He led the kids in a cheer for the awesome music they’d enjoyed all week and then he got serious.

“How many of you here have asked Jesus into your hearts?” Many hands went up around the campfire, including Laurel’s.

“That’s great,” Sal continued, “but before we leave tonight I’d like to ask you another question. How many of you are Christians?”

All around the campfire boys and girls exchanged quizzical looks. Ben raised his hand. “Excuse me sir, but didn’t we just answer that?” Nodding heads rippled through the group.

“No you didn’t. In light of the truth we’ve been speaking of this week and the daring things our missionaries are doing overseas I want you to think about what it means to be a Christian.” With that the group was excused to their cabins.

Laurel was exhausted from a day of tug-o-war and crazy relay races but sleep wouldn’t come. All the campers from her youth group had been given WWJD bracelets at the beginning of the week. It was supposed to remind them to ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” They were reminded that Jesus was a leader, not a follower.
Laurel didn’t know if she could do it. She had cousins in high school and they always seemed to be getting into trouble. She would enter the trouble-zone in a few weeks. She sat up in her bunk as she realized that none of the kids from her youth group would go to her school. What if she were the only Christian at Mount Baldy High? All of a sudden she felt like a lone candle in a very dark world.

“Laurel, can’t you sleep.” It was Sal’s wife Ivy.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake anyone.”

“Why don’t we take a walk so we don’t wake the other girls?” Ivy listened to Laurel’s questions and fears. Then she held her close and said the seven words that still motivate Laurel almost 30 years later: “I dare you to live the truth.”

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This article has been read 566 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst09/04/08
A quiet, simple story but Laurel's thoughts echo profoundly. Nicely done!
Beckie Stewart09/04/08
This is a great approach to this difficult topic. I was hooked from beginning to end.
Sunny Loomis 09/04/08
Very good story. Good descriptions here. Shows lots of internal thinking. Nicely done. Good ending.
Helen Murray09/05/08
What a great (last) line! I'll remember that.
Noreen Ophoff09/05/08
Easy to follow story, and the last line, unexpectedly, sent chills through me.
Marlene Austin09/08/08
Very well written. Complete, realistic details and emotions. Good job. :)
Celeste Ammirata09/14/08
Well written story. Ivy sounds like a woman that young girls could learn from. Nice job.