Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)
TITLE: White-Slipped and Rolling
By Laury Hubrich
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“Coming,” Jason replies as he races down the steps with a roll of his eyes.
“Are you ready?” I walk past the open bathroom door where my teenage son primps.
“Mom, go, I’ll be there.”
I gather my things and go to the car just as Jason comes out loaded down with a book bag and his baseball gear. “Umm…” I hem and haw.
“What’d you forget, Mom?”
“Please run inside and get the checkbook.” He plops his things in the backseat and runs back to the house. Meanwhile I remember I forgot to take my medicine so we meet up in the kitchen. Jason gives me another roll of his eyes and then beats me out to the car.
When I get back it’s started, Jason’s buckled in, and so ready to remind me that if I’m late it’s totally my fault. In all honesty, it would be the truth.
“Okay, let’s roll,” I say to my newly white-slipped son.
With quick, dry wit he asks, “Are you sure this time?”
I bend over to turn on the air conditioning and he promptly rolls his eyes again. “Mom, the driver controls the temperature.”
“When you get your license you can control the temperature.”
“Whatever,” he half-heartedly whispers. “I can’t wait.”
“That will happen soon enough, kiddo.”
We drive along in silence for a bit, our fifteen minute drive to school seems an eternity. “Honey, how fast are you going?” I lean over to check the speedometer. “Slow down, that’s way too fast.”
He slows down a bit, back down to the accepted five miles per hour above the speed limit that we agreed to for this stretch of road.
I lay back in my seat and close my eyes to try to fend off the approaching headache when Jason lets out a really good whine, “Mom.”
“What?” I pop up in my seat, ready to apply my invisible break.
“An old lady just passed me.”
“So? Is that a problem?”
I get another eye roll.
Again, I lay my head back, close my eyes and listen to the radio station as it plays the latest in contemporary Christian music. I hum along and promptly forget my son at the wheel.
“Mom.” Another whine resonates from the driver’s seat.
“Hmmm?” I open my eyes and look over at him.
“Gas is on empty. We’re never going to make it.”
“I was hoping the gas price would go down today. Besides that, it increases your faith whenever you have to pray we don’t run out of gas. It’s good for you.” I realize I’ve just stumbled upon a teachable moment. “Ummm…. Jason? You do pray, don’t you?”
He grips the wheel tighter and takes another peek at the gas gauge. “On Sundays.”
My heart takes a nose dive. I’ve failed my son in this area. “Being a Christian and talking to God is an everyday thing.”
I don’t see the rolling of the eyes but know that the rolling attitude is right there on the surface. I have a captive audience, though, so I keep up my line of thought. “There are a million reasons to pray, Son. I pray for you all the time. I pray that you do well in school, that you make and be a good friend. I even pray when you go up to bat, that you’ll do the best you can and won’t get hurt. I pray that you’ll come to know God more and more as you live each day. I pray that you make the right decisions when you’re by yourself, too.”
I bend over to turn the radio down when I feel Jason throw on his brakes and swerve.
There in front of us, just inches away, stood two good-sized deer.
“You did great, Jason. I didn’t even see them. I’m so proud of you.”
“That scared me.”
Picking up on another teachable moment I seize the opportunity. “God took care of you. See how quickly something can happen? We could have been killed. We’ve always got to be ready. You just never know.” I still feel tension and raw fear beside me. “How about we pray together now? You can start.”
He nodded. “God, I see now that life just isn’t a silly game. I think I’m beginning to get it.”
I wipe the tears from my eyes as I begin to get it, too.
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