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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: The Eternal Summer
By Sherrie Coronas
07/14/09


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The sound of the small rubber wheels racing down the cool asphalt penetrated my unconsciousness like thunder on a clear day. I turned over slowly without opening my eyes denying that morning had already arrived. When chatter filled the air just outside my bedroom window, I realized my internal alarm clock had failed me yet again. Throwing my sheets to the floor, I enthusiastically scrambled out of bed the way teenagers do only when on break from school.

In the blink of an eye I was outside lacing up my roller blades, regretting that I had missed nearly fifteen minutes of riveting neighborhood gossip. I rolled myself into the bunch and quickly joined in the twaddle. When the sun was high in the Hawaiian sky, we changed into swim suits and hit the beach. I spread my towel onto the hot sand and coconut oil onto my fair skin. I relished every second of my summer freedom.

As the sun disappeared behind the horizon, I headed home to find mom annoyed that I was late for dinner. A quick apology got me off the hook as I sat down to enjoy her famous beef stew.

“So, just one more week and it’s back to school,” said mom with inappropriate cheer.

“Yep,” I said as I thought about all the fun I would pack into my final days of summer.

“Well, I got a call from Aunty Geri today and she’s invited you to join your cousins at church camp this weekend…would you like to go?” she asked.

I stared blankly for a moment. Did she have any idea what she was asking me to give up? With my eyes fixed squarely on mom, I simply said “yes” because I knew the question was nothing more than rhetorical.

On Friday I packed my duffle bag and headed to Camp Timberline for a Christian summer camp for teens. Although I felt absolutely robbed of my last three days of summer bliss, I put on a game face and decided to make the best of it.

Camp Timberline offered rustic cabins, super cool youth leaders and teens that were surprisingly fun to hang out with it. On the first day, we swam in the pool and played dodge ball. Pastor Art conducted service shortly after dinner.

On the second day of camp, it started to get a bit uncomfortable. A church-going Catholic, I knew I loved God; however, at this camp we talked about having a daily relationship with Him, living our lives for Him and making a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts.

Guilt pangs caught me by surprise as I comprehended the shallowness of my life. I knew that I didn’t think much about God between Sunday services, unless a teen crisis propelled me into an impromptu prayer request. My “good works” really didn’t extend beyond…well, myself.

By the end of day two, the fun-loving camp leaders by day turned into compelling preachers by night with probing questions that boggled my young mind:

Q: When was the last time you thanked God for the goodness in your life?
A: I think it was last Christmas.

Q: When was the last time you shared your love for Jesus with a friend?
A: That would be never.

Q: Did you know that you are a sinner by nature?
A: Now that explained a lot!

Q: If you died tomorrow, are you certain you would go to heaven?
A: What kind of question was that?

It was getting heavy, for sure.

On Sunday afternoon, Pastor Art appeared as a mere shadow against the backdrop of a glorious sunset during our final service. At the end of his message, he looked into the sea of teenage faces and asked, “Are ready to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Are you ready to live His plan for your life?”

I stared blankly for a moment. Did he have any idea what he was asking me to give up? With my heart fixed squarely on Jesus, I simply said “yes” knowing that the question was anything but rhetorical.

I opened my heart to the Lord and invited Him to dwell inside of me. Since that day 35 years ago, I’ve relished every second of that eternal summer decision.


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This article has been read 627 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst07/16/09
This has just the right balance of light-heartedness and seriousness. Well written.
Linda Goergen07/16/09
I enjoyed this lighthearted account of your salvation and I love the way your title "The Eternal Sunner" so fits your summer of salvation.
diana kay07/18/09
good storyline. It started with lots of lovely descriptive turns of phase and I personally would have liked it to continue. The change in tempo once the MC got to camp may have been deliberate but I thought that the question and answer bit and the part that followed seemed to hurry along a bit. I expect this was due to trying to fit it into the word count. Maybe you could write a longer story as I love your writing style and I think you capture the teenage attitude well. Pity you cant use it for this weeks teenage theme.
Mildred Sheldon07/18/09
I loved this teenage salvation story. Isn't it amazing how teenagers have that gift of the eternal summer. Very well written.
Seema Bagai 07/19/09
The title fits this piece perfectly. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 07/22/09
Lovely story--I didn't realize it was actually a testimony until the last paragraph!

The voice seemed somehow older than a teen voice--explained by the last paragraph, but I wonder if it'd 'work' better without the summary at the end, and written more as a teen would speak.

Great title.
Christina Banks 07/22/09
I liked how you changed the explination of the two 'yes' answers. Nicely done testimony!

"I simply said “yes” because I knew the question was nothing more than rhetorical."

"I simply said “yes” knowing that the question was anything but rhetorical."
Mariane Holbrook07/22/09
What a great testimony from the vantage point of a teenager. They're my favorite age group anyway, so this was a particularly enjoyable read for me. Beside that, it's very well written! Kudos!
Patricia Herchenroether07/22/09
The Q and A part-lol. A very nice story. It would make a great longgger one.
Carol Slider 07/22/09
Thank you for sharing this well-written testimony!
Stephanie Craig07/22/09
I didn't think roller blades were around until the 1980s. Nevertheless, you did a great job with your writing. First person is hard to do.
Sara Harricharan 07/22/09
Simply lovely. I liked the way the rhectorical "yes" played out. Great stuff!
Laury Hubrich 07/22/09
Don't you wish you would have saved this for the teen topic? Don't you hate when that happens? LOL. I like this story. Very good. I have lots of fond memories of summer church camp.
Karlene Jacobsen 07/22/09
Gotta love those God-encounters. I like your reference to the question merely being rhetorical.
Catrina Bradley 07/22/09
Very skilled writing! Nice segues, and an interesting story that flowed from beginning to end beautifully. The Q&A is a nice touch - makes the reader stop and think along with your MC. I enjoyed this entry.
Cat :D
Deborah Porter 07/23/09
Hi Sherrie. I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, The Eternal Summer, actually did very well in the Summer Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 2, placing 6th in that Level. Well done!

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=383740

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Just a quick reminder, too, about this year’s Page Turner Contest for 500 members. If you have a novel in the works (even just the first chapter), this contest is a must to enter:
http://www.faithwriters.com/myaccount/FaithWriters500/contest-pageturner.php

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)