Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: LEAP OF FAITH
By Kevin Rodgers
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“How could this have happened?” he asked himself. “I’m thirty years old and in great health. I’m married to a gorgeous wife. I have three beautiful daughters, more money than I can spend, and people respect me.”
Peering down at his feet, he ran his sweaty hands through his hair as he continued. “Yet…I’m miserable. I have everything I could want. But I’m just not happy. I feel…empty. Nothing I do seems to help. Nothing I buy seems to help. Nothing…seems…to help.”
Randy wiped a tear from his eye, looked back down the snaky road and turned to leave his ruined life behind.
A narrow timber bridge now lay before him. An old splintered sign engraved with the word “Noitavlas”, spanned its entrance. The Noitavlas Bridge was the oldest bridge in the town of Nede. Some say the bridge preceded the town itself.
Though Randy was born and raised in Nede, it wasn’t until the age of twenty-four that he knew the bridge even existed. Very few people in the town used the old bridge anymore. Even fewer seemed to mention it at all. To most, the structure served as nothing more than a relic; a lingering piece of the past that no longer served a purpose. They now put their trust in the newly constructed bridges that connected the town with the other communities nearby.
Numerous times over the last six years, Randy found himself standing at the edge of this ancient bridge. Each time for the same reason: to put an end to his horrible life. However, the fear always proved to be too much for Randy. Not only had he never gone through with it, he had never even stepped foot onto the bridge.
Today was different though, Randy had finally extinguished all the remedies he knew of; to no avail. He had now hit rock bottom. There was only one thing left to do; to end his misery once and for all. His mind was made up. This time he would go through with it.
Randy walked closer to the bridge and peered over the edge of its sturdy railing. Sharp, jagged boulders lined the bottom of the deep canyon.
Startled, he turned. A middle-aged man with dark hair approached from across the bridge.
“Who-who are you? What do you want?” Randy asked nervously.
“I’m Haissem, and it looks like you could use my help. Tell me, what do you want?”
At first Randy said nothing. He only starred at this odd stranger that somehow knew his name. Had they met before? Randy couldn’t recall. “How did this man know I was here? I’ve never mentioned my trips here to anyone,” he thought.
Breaking the silence, the stranger added, “I’ve seen you here before; many times in fact. What is it that you’re looking for? What do you want Randy?”
“I-I want the pain to stop. I’m tired of the loneliness. The emptiness is too much. I want…I want – I want to end my misery.” As tears trickled down his cheek, Randy looked directly at Haissem. “That’s what I want. That’s why I’m here.”
Haissem nodded, taking in all of Randy’s words. “You know that there’s only one way to end your misery, right?”
Randy then began to cry as he noticed that he now stood mere inches from the edge of the bridge; inches away from the end. Randy looked over his shoulder and once again starred down the long dark road that led to his life of chaos. “Yeah…I know. That’s why I’m here.”
“Randy, don’t look back. There’s no other way. Do you want to go on living a miserable life? You don’t have to; not if you take the final step. In one step, you can put an end to your loneliness, put an end to your emptiness, and find a cure for your misery. What’s it going to be? Only you can decide.”
With those words, Randy closed his eyes and took the final leap. A sense of relief lifted as his foot rested on the wooden plank of the life-changing bridge.
“Come,” Haissem called. “Follow me.”
Randy opened his eyes. His life forever changed the instant he put his faith in the saving grace of his Lord. Joy now consumed the emptiness he had felt for so long. His miserable life was transformed by a simple leap of faith.
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