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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Car Trip (07/18/05)

TITLE: Strangers on Assignment
By Shirley Thomas


Travis Maxwell wiped the sweat from his face with a towel. The humidity and temperature were high on this July morning. Travis had been on his way to see his treasured friend, Martin Dixon. They went back a long way, with their friendship surviving many storms and trials throughout the years. They were both by themselves now; their wives with the Lord and their children busy with their own lives. They got together each week to study the Word of God and pray.

“Looks like I won’t be getting there any time soon.” Travis thought to himself.

Travis looked under the hood of his truck and knew there was a serious problem. It was a ten-mile walk either direction. He knew that if he was 59 instead of 79, he could make the walk easily; but with his arthritis, walking ten miles was not an option.

Travis began to do the only thing he knew to do; he prayed, “Lord, it’s just you and me, and I’m aware of my limitations, but I’m just as aware of your greatness. I know You can send someone down this road to help me. You’ve never let me down and I know today is not going to be any different. I’m going to sit under this tree you’ve provided for me and wait until You send someone.”

Five miles away Michael and Nancy Benson were riding down a deserted road that was as silent as their conversation. A few minutes earlier, the conversation had been intense with heated anger. For the last six months of their marriage they could barely stay in the same room for more than ten minutes without having an argument.

“Why didn’t you stay on the interstate?” Nancy impatiently asked.

“I saw a road sign and it promised some interesting sightseeing. I thought you might enjoy a road trip, but I was wrong again! I can’t seem to please you anymore; but don’t worry as soon as I see the next main highway we’ll be on it.” Michael said.

“Me, hard to please! You’re the one that is never satisfied with anything I do. The only reason I came on this awful trip was to please you and look at us, we’re arguing more than ever!” Nancy replied.

They were silent again, with only the noise of a single car traveling down a deserted country road. They were both thinking the same thing, “God, what has happened to us?”

Just as they rounded the dusty curve in the road, they spotted the pick-up truck on the side of the road, with Travis sitting under the tree.

“That’s great! An old man with a broken down truck.” Michael grunted.

“You don’t have to stop. He could be a dangerous criminal.” said Nancy.

“We can’t leave him, there’s nothing within ten miles of here. We have to stop.” Michael replied.

Travis saw the red sedan stop and began to silently thank the Lord. Nancy and Michael asked how they could help him. He told them he needed a ride to his friend’s house and he would call for help from there.

Travis told them about his wife and how much he missed her. He said, “My wife and me made a promise to each other and to God the day we married. We decided if it seemed like an argument was about to take place, we’d step back, look at the situation and decide if it was something that was going to make a difference in ten years….if not, it wasn’t worth arguing over. Saved us many an argument.”

They arrived at Martin’s house and they began to say their good-byes.
Travis said, “You know you were an answer to an old man’s prayer.” You make a good team! God needs team players to help Him! You two enjoy the rest of your road trip.”

Nancy and Michael were silent as they drove away, but for different reasons now. They were both thinking how God not only answered Travis’ prayer but theirs also. Twelve years ago, they had made a pledge to each other and to God, to not only be partners, but to be a team, too. They had been a team with one purpose, to serve their God. They realized today, they were still partners on His team.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Gretchen Paxton07/26/05
just like God to accomplish his will like that - excellent message and writing - each word has a purpose, edited beautifully!
Nina Phillips07/27/05
Amen! That was a wonderful story, well written. God bless ya, littlelight
Beth Muehlhausen07/30/05
Nice job! Good lead, development, and conclusion - with a good message.
Deborah Porter 08/02/05
Shirley, this was such a good story and I wanted to encourage you by letting you know that it actually made it into the semi-finals for the Car Trip Challenge. Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)