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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)

TITLE: The Height of Dreams
By Glynis Becker
03/14/12


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She pumped her arms and legs harder, faster. The muscles burned and her heart sped in her chest like a race car around a track. Don't forget to breathe, Leah reminded herself, concentrating. In. Out. In. Out. The rhythm of it settled on her. Her spirit was infused, her body energized. She'd always heard about a "second wind" but she never realized how exhilarating it would be.

Two miles back, she was sure she'd never make it one more step. At the point of fighting the sea of other runners to hit the sidelines and stay, she had instead prayed for strength. Leah pushed through the pain, pushed through the fatigue and God had rewarded her perseverance with a renewal, a reminder that she really could do all things.

No wonder Paul used a race as an analogy for our faith, she thought. So often, I have to make myself believe, even when I'm not sure I want to. I have to make myself do the right thing, the good thing, even when it's hard. I always imagine Paul as a scholar, but maybe he took an occasional run, too. Leah smiled, imagining him hiking up a woolen robe and running in sandals. Once again, she was thankful for living in the twenty-first century, appreciating the man-made fibers in her clothes that kept her dry and comfortable, the technology in her running shoes to account for her particular stride and the gadget strapped to her arm that kept track of everything from distance and speed to calories and heart rate.

The sunshine on her face was a welcome friend. She was certainly not alone in this race, but the Spirit was so much closer to her than the stranger sweating four feet away. The sun was God smiling on her. The warm breath of wind was Jesus singing over her, because He knew that this run was more than she ever imagined she could do. Yet now that she had hit her stride, she was sure she could run right up to heaven's gate itself, and breathlessly fall into His arms.

With only a half-mile left, Leah realized that this time she had spent with her thoughts and God was the most true worship she had ever experienced in her life. No interruptions, just Leah, the sunshine and Jesus. Well, okay, there were aching muscles, too, but the exhaustion would be a welcome reminder of the beauty and transcendence of this moment.

She could see the finish line now. What had been a concept just yards ago, became a happy reality as she crossed the thick white line, arms raised in praise of God and her own amazing achievement.


"Leah." A soft voice exhaled the name near to Leah's ear, gently awakening her. "Honey, it's time to go to therapy." Leah's mother gave her a tender smile and brushed a stray lock of hair off of her forehead. "Can you get there by yourself?"

Leah nodded silently. She gripped the wheels of her chair in her hands and began the slow, painful roll down the sterile hallway. The distance was not the half-marathon she dreamed of, but it was still a worthy goal. The cold, white walls were not sunshine, but God continued to smile. No breeze moved through the stuffy recirculated air, but she knew in her heart that Jesus still sang for her. Because this was not the end of her race, but the beginning.


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This article has been read 228 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 03/16/12
A riveting story that had me cheering on the MC.

Good job! God Bless~
CD Swanson 03/16/12
I forgot to add - the ending was powerful and gripped my heart. Excellent job.

God bless~
Laura Hawbaker 03/16/12
Well written. The ending surprised me. I like endings that surprise me!
Amanda Brogan03/17/12
This. Is. AMAZING! Though I'm not a professional, I love to run, and Paul's analogy of our spiritual life being a race has always been one of my favorites.

Your wording here was so powerful! I was there running with Leah the whole time. The thought crossed my mind that maybe she had had some health issues that would have prevented her from this sort of run in the past, but I still didn't see the ending coming. I agree with the others ... that surprise ending really adds an extra element to the story! It shows that God is with us no matter what.

Great writing!
Allison Egley 03/17/12
Oh, this is great. Some accomplishments may SEEM bigger than others, but that doesn't make them any less significant. What a beautiful way to show that.
Catrina Bradley 03/17/12
I'm not a runner, but I still got into the race with Leah, pumping, breathing, and communing with God. The ending was AWESOME! Great great job.
Donna Wilcher 03/17/12
Absolutely superb! Loved every single word of it. The end was such a nice surprise.

You definitely need to start writing again! With that kind of writing you'll be a Level 4 in no time at all! (Maybe this time)!

Great work!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/12
Wonderfully inspiring story--I loved the ending, as well as the message. This was good --beginning to end.
Joanne Sher 03/19/12
Oh, Glynnis - I ADORE the ending - and the analogy - and the title (clever hint!). Wonderful writing, my friend.
Edmond Ng 03/21/12
Running the race despite challenges is how we should live. You've shown this very well in your nicely written story.
Hiram Claudio03/21/12
Powerful ... powerful ... powerful ... and, oh yeah ... powerful!!! This was tremendous. The analogy, the lesson on faith and maturity, the writing, everything about this piece was beyond 1st class. Absoutely brilliant!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/21/12
Wonderful story! Reminded me of Erid Liddell who said that when he ran, he could, "feel God's pleasure." You took us right to the heart of it. Great ending!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/12
Great story! Congratulations for placing 7th in level 3!