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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Thank You, Lord - Goodnight!
By Beth Muehlhausen


Thank You, Lord - Goodnight!

Uhhh … what’s the topic for this week again? Oh yeah … “concentration.”

A shuddery sigh pierces the dark.

So, I guess I should decide to crowd out all this stuff consuming my mind and concentrate on concentration – but nope! It’s not gonna happen.

The digital clock next to the bed reads 2:30 a.m. A breeze billows lacy curtains while moonlight dapples the walls.

I hate being awake in the night with so much on my mind! Jerry’s upcoming surgery, Laurie’s speech therapy, unpaid bills … the in-laws visit, birthday gifts … and I haven’t done my Bible study, not to mention my FaithWriters entry!

Rose-printed bed sheets seem sticky with sweat. Larry’s snores – ca-caaawww, ssnnnnn-awww, caaawwww – shatter the stillness like a buzz-saw.

That’s enough! I’m getting out of this bed. I’ll find something to do – anything is better than staring at those ugly cracks in the ceiling.

Shadows in the hall flee at the flip of a switch, and then return with another flip. Cool kitchen linoleum offers relief from the muggy night. The refrigerator hums its greeting and offers milk to drown a bowl of oatie-o’s – little inner tubes that insist on floating like miniature life preservers.

My laptop … where’d I put it? It’s pretty easy to kill time on the Internet …

Oatie-o’s quickly disappear but are followed by deli blue cheese atop crisp, seedy crackers, and three sandwich cookies.

All right, I’ve stuffed my face enough. Why do I eat like this in the middle of the night?

An eerie sound shudders through the open windows from somewhere in the woods - the plaintive cry of a screech owl. Otherwise, quiet hangs like a deafening shroud.

There … the laptop is on the table.

With a click the screen comes alive. Its welcome, soft glow provides a comforting presence, almost as if another person enters the room. Up comes Google, the port of entry to cyberspace … and beyond!

I might as well make good use of this time … it’s already Tuesday night and I haven’t even started my challenge entry. The topic … why do I keep forgetting it? … oh yeah, “concentration.”

The owl tries to interject his rather grating thoughts on the subject. “Rrrreeeeee … eeeee.”

Concentrate … concentrate! Nothing should disturb me … no phone calls, no grandkids hollering for snacks, no buzz from the dryer. C’mon brain … come up with something!

A lonely mosquito buzzes unseen through the night air and then lands on an unsuspecting big toe. It injects its jackhammer probe as if it hasn’t eaten for hours.


Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Now how am I supposed to type if I’m all bent over scratching this stupid toe? Very funny.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

I’m not laughing.

In the top corner of an empty Word page the cursor blinks rhythmically – almost as if winking with sympathy.

I need someplace to start … c’mon Lord … give me something. I’m concentrating on YOU!

The keys on the keyboard wait, feeling the heaviness of fingers ready to pounce.

Frozen orange juice concentrate – that’s a concentration of sorts. Nazi concentration camps – oh brother! Nah, obviously my entry should about mental focus – that kind of concentration. Well this is just great - I’m getting nowhere fast.

“Rrrr-eeeeee … eeeee.” The screech owl demands an audience.

I’m not kidding, Lord, You are my ultimate resource, even with this silly project on a sticky summer night! You are THE Creator – of everything! Can you supply just one sentence – a beginning?

The same oversized, hungry mosquito whines within hearing distance.

I praise You, Lord, for working in and through me … Your Spirit inspires me all the time … how about tonight …

Finally, black letters begin to stomp their way across the white screen like mysterious wild animal tracks left in the snow. Something (Some One) leads the way …

Keep those words coming, Lord … this is Your story … the one you want me to write …

A line appears, then two - then four, six - too many to count! After a few edits, the last one becomes the title.

So … I just need to copy and paste this on the FaithWriters submission page, and I’m done!

The laptop’s lid closes.

NOW maybe I can sleep …

In cyberspace the newly written challenge entry joins others also composed as the result of concentration on Him.

Thank you, Lord - goodnight!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 08/01/08
smile...procrastination...we've all been there!
I liked all the "night" sounds.
Thank you for the smiles.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/08
Sounds only too familiar. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
Hmmmm I know just how it is to try to think of something to write just at bedtime...might as well get up and do it. I liked your desciptions especially.