Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Much Ado about Nothing (not about the play) (07/28/11)

TITLE: Where Did My Bucket List Go
By stanley Bednarz


Where Did My Bucket List Go? Does it really matter? In the last five years I haven't done one thing on it.

1. I never did the "Amazing Race" with my wife.
2. I didn't jump out of a plane.
3. My wife and I have never been on a cruise ship to anywhere.
4. Ah...I can't remember. Wait! No, forget it.

When things don't go my way, I retreat to my cabin in the woods. Being a solitary hunter has defined me for the last five years, but that's not exactly how I want to be remembered. I think it's the selfish part of me?

Sometimes when I'm alone on my deer stand in the woods, I will close my eyes and imagine laying in a coffin. I think about the personalities of my children and what they might say to each other. I visualize the ones who might cry, and the ones who will be a strong shoulder to lean on. I think of my wife and the deep loneliness that would engulf her soul, like the belly of an ocean swell that seeks the bottom before it rises heavenward.

She begs me not to hunt alone. I tell her sweetly. I have no friends to hunt with because you are the only friend I have ever needed.

I have a risk gene. It's recessive, like my blue eyes. I've never climbed Mt. Everest, just my deer-stand. Now, I just wait for the five hundred pound black bear to come strolling my way. If I'm I miss, I'm pretty sure he could get me in this tree. He was never on my bucket list in the first place. Maybe, I should let him be?

I take a deep satisfied breath and think about where my priorities should be.



What if I fell from the stand and accidentally shot myself? What if I got lost in the woods forever? What if I had a heart attack? Every year in the Adirondack Mountains there are reports of men hunters getting lost for good.

I check for my cell phone. I keep it next to my thumping heart.

It will be Thursday night, and my teenage kids depend on me to drive them to youth group. I know my role. I need to empty my selfishness in this place through the cold crisp air that fills my lungs. I exhale into the mist. I take one last deep sigh.



I find comfort as I leave my place in the woods, my solitary domain. Soon I will have a truckload of my children with their friends going to church, where they sing the young Christian songs. They will be in a crowd of hundreds raising their hands, praising God. They will acknowledge that God made us the crown of his creation.

I will stand in the midst of a whir of teenagers with excited joy etched on their faces. They will flow past me as if they have built in radar, not even looking at me. But it's okay. I will be the odd old man with a pee warm coffee in my hand, but I'm loved.

I'm glad my kids have found the faith I discovered when I was a teenager. Do they know it started in the woods?

I say goodbye to the solitary beaver below in the creek, the solitary bear who ambles on the ridge, and the solitary buck that scrapes the ground with his hoof.

When I was young I sought God in the woods. I challenged God to show himself. I told God I would find him, as if I were a hunter on a missionary trail. I told God, this earth, this vast domain could not have been an accident. One day, he revealed himself to me in a powerful way.

It's time to live the next five years for my family. Screw the bucket list. Let the bears live in the woods. It's time I walk out of the woods with real vision and purpose, a selfless one.

This is the snapshot of my life, finally walking out of the woods, glad to be alive, and going home to my family, being a chauffer for my teenagers, and when the house is an empty nest, a lover to my wife.

Love is the greatest legacy you can leave. Faith is the greatest gift to our children.

Ta' hell with the bucket list.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 689 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen08/05/11
Its funny, when you talk to many people at the end of their lives, the things they say they will miss, the things they wish they had done more of - are the little everyday interactions we have in life with those we love I am glad you (or at least the MC in your story) found this out before the end, while still time to appreciate the pleasure and rewards in small things. Enjoyed this well written, introspective piece!
Noel Mitaxa 08/06/11
Loved that clarity emerging at the end, though it was a strong window into your MC's soul all the way through.
Linda Goergen08/11/11
Congratulations on your second place win...this had such meaning, your win so well deserved!!
C D Swanson 08/11/11
Loved this article! It held so much meaning, it is all about faith that is all that matters.

Congratulations on your win, keep writing, and may God continue to Bless you and yours.
Noel Mitaxa 08/11/11
Congratulations on your placing, and welcome back Stan!!!
Karen Pourbabaee 08/12/11
Congratulations on your Editor's Choice award....what a way to come back into the challenge!