Roy lay awake, listening intently, his eyes wide open, straining to see into the darkness. He heard every sound. He was certain he heard a few sounds that no one else had ever heard before. “What animal made that noise?” “Why did God create anything that made that horrific sound? They did not seem to serve any purpose except to scare him out of his wits!”
He held onto his sleeping bag tightly. Beads of sweat rolled down his face as his body was enveloped in cold chills. Too bad it wasn’t the flu or some other legitimate illness. At least that would have given him an excuse to stay home. But instead after much effort, he had finally relented and agreed to venture out into the wilderness, to spend a full night sleeping, well trying to sleep, under the stars.
As the fearful thoughts kept racing through his mind, he took every one of them captive, just like the pastor had said to do according to 2nd Corinthians 10:5. But he still was totally terrified! He felt totally embarrassed as he jumped up screaming when the most terrifying noise of all echoed through night. Then his camping partner, Travis, assured him it was only an owl, making it’s hooting sound, and not some creature of the night asking ‘Who?’.
Roy looked at his watch to assure himself, he only had a few more hours to go. Great! He could make it now he thought, just as the chirping sound of a cricket sent him shaking under his blanket. Then another sound, “What was that? Pheww!, just a rabbit hopping through the leaves. Oh Lord, help me make it just a few more hours! I’m so scared!” Travis kept assuring him they were totally safe, “There are no dangerous animals in this area. Please, just relax. I need my sleep.”
“Ok”, Roy thought, “I’ll relax and let Travis sleep. Besides, I’m embarrassing myself. I’m too old to be frightened like this.” Roy finally calmed himself down. Travis finally nodded off into a very peaceful sleep.
Then Roy noticed something. It wasn’t a sound this time, but a movement! A movement that was too close for comfort! He knew he had promised Travis, he would not interrupt his sleep again, but it was more than he could bear. The movement was right along his leg! He felt it rub against his bare skin. It even tickled as it gently moved his leg hairs! What was it? His life flashed before his eyes. This was finally it! His life was over!
Roy jumped up screaming and dancing as he through his sleeping bag with all his might. To his dismay, the sleeping bag landed in the fire and began to burn rapidly. He thought,’ Forget the sleeping bag, what was that crawling along my leg?’
Travis was awakened and startled so badly that he jumped up and tried to balance himself while in his sleeping bag. But his efforts were unsuccessful and he fell backwards into the ice chest that had been left open. The extreme cold from the icy water chilled his bottom to the core, and he jumped back up, while still in his sleeping bag. This time he was able to balance himself and got out of his sleeping bag, without further incident.
“What was it this time?” Travis asked as he attempted to warm his posterior.
“Something was crawling up my leg; I’m guessing a spider, probably a black widow!”
Travis shook his head in disbelief. He had had enough! It was not daylight yet, but there was no use trying to sleep anymore. He decided to sit by the fire until daylight. Breakfast would be soon.
Thank goodness they had not gone camping out of town, but nearby. The camping trip had been part of Travis’s birthday and his father would only let him camp with one person, and that person happened to be his father, who happened to be, well, Roy. This had to be the worst 8th birthday that anyone had ever had, anywhere in the entire world. And it was finally almost over.
As the sun began to ever so gently light up the sky, Travis felt a tremendous amount of relief. The streets began to get busy, the neighbor’s dog began to bark, and finally Mom opened the back door and announced, “Breakfast is ready!”
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