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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: Safe Haven
By Mildred Sheldon


Ben pushed his big rig and body hard trying to get home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. He hadn’t slept in 24 hours when he saw the big billboard advertising his insurance company with Larry Andrews picture. Ben often talked to the Lord on these long hauls and he said.

“I’m almost home Lord. Just twenty more miles and I can sleep. Help me to stay focused and keep me awake Lord. I’m so tired, and I’m not as young as I once was. Once upon a time I could drive forever, and not feel my age, but time marches on.”

As he crested the hill he saw the sign that said, “Welcome to Heaven.”

“What Lord! Did I have an accident? Did I fall asleep at the wheel and not realize it? That sign should say Haven.”

He finally stopped his rig passed the sign jumped out of the truck, big flashlight in hand, and hurried to the sign. He blinked his eyes several times trying to get them focused. He looked at the sign and roared with laughter. Someone had taken brilliant iridescent white paint and painted over Haven making the sign read Heaven. He walked back to his rig chuckling and thanking God that he was still quite alive. He started the engine, got back on the highway and headed home.

“I guess you are telling me, Lord, that deadheading is for those young dudes not someone 60 years old. Lord, when I get home I’m telling Esther no more long hauls for me. I’ll call Buddy, and tell him just local runs from now on.”

Ben pulled into his yard. Parking his rig he grabbed his jacket and made a beeline to the house. Esther was standing in the kitchen getting the turkey ready when he walked in. She ran to Ben throwing her arms around his neck.

“Ben, oh Ben you made it home for Thanksgiving. I’m so happy you’re here. Everybody was praying you’d make it home this year. They will be so surprised. We haven’t spent Thanksgiving together since our baby got married five years ago. Oh, Ben, this will be the best Thanksgiving in a long time.”

“I know it will be, but honey we need to discuss something very important. I deadheaded from the east coast so I could spend Thanksgiving with my family this year. Thanksgiving is a special Holiday to our family. We thank God for all our blessings, and we prepare our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls for celebrating the birth of Christ on Christmas. Honey, my old body can’t take driving nonstop anymore, and I want to be here to celebrate all the special holidays with my family.”

Esther looked into her husbands eyes and could see how exhausted he was. She lovingly kissed him.

“ I love you Ben and I understand.”

Ben pulled Esther close and held her before telling her about the sign.

“Some kids painted over the sign for Haven with iridescent white paint changing the word to Heaven. I was so tired my eyes didn’t want to stay open and when I saw that sign it shocked me awake. I made it through town on adrenaline only. I don’t remember driving the last 5 miles. God was the driver and He got me safely home. I’m calling Buddy Monday and telling him no more long hauls for me. The money is nice, but not worth my life. From now on, just local runs for me honey.”

Ben wearily climbed the stairs, got in bed, and was asleep before his head hit the pillow. The family saw his rig and excitement rang through the house waking Ben from sleep. He got up, quickly dressed while talking to God.

“God, thank you for bringing me home to my safe haven, and my family. I give you all the praise, honor and glory for those last 5 miles, because I fazed out, and honestly don‘t know how I made it home. This is going to be the best Thanksgiving in a long time. From now on I’m going to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter here with my family.”

Ben walked downstairs to the waiting arms of his family where he received hugs, kisses, good conversation, and food fit for a king. After supper they prayed and sang “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.” They bowed their heads and Ben thanked God for all blessings past, present and to come.

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This article has been read 342 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leola Ogle 12/09/10
Love the humor about the sign! Good job! Also loved how you presented the holidays as such a cherished family time!
Fern Brown12/11/10
It's interesting how God woke Ben up so he could drive more safely, and also woke him up to see there are things more important than money. Good lessons!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/12/10
My brother is a truck driver and I know there are laws prohibiting truckers from driving so many hours in a row. But I also know that by manipulating the paperwork some truckers do drive straight through making it dangerous for them and everyone on the road. I enjoyed your story and the message in it. You did a good job showing how our desires aren't always the best thing for us as well as showing the great ways God answers prayers.
diana kay12/14/10
great story :-) i would have liked to know a little MORE about his family rather than just his wife as you mention them in general lots of times but i guess that you needed to be mindful of the word count. i think this story reminds us to focus on the really important things in life
Phyllis Inniss12/16/10
I like the story and how Ben kept praying for his safe arrival throughout his journey home. The Lord answers his prayer by allowing him to notice the sign by jolting him into wakefulness until he reaches home to a praying family. On that journey home he is also made aware that family and love are more important than money.