Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
TITLE: Standing Still
By Lynda Schultz
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“So, what are we going to do?” asked one recently arrived recruit to his bleary-eye buddy.
“Don’t know. Haven’t heard anything from headquarters yet. All I know is if there is anything more to do it isn’t going to happen once it gets dark, and that sun is moving at light speed.”
The recruit snorted at the pun. “Light speed?” he sputtered.
His companion cuffed him playfully across the head. “Come on, we still have a little time, and we’re wasting it standing here.”
They gathered the instruments of their current trade and scurried off, following the sounds of the rout taking place in the distance. The bulk of General Joshua’s army was in hot pursuit of the remnants of what had once been the combined forces of five city-states.
Panting and near exhaustion from the concentrated effort they had to make to avoid tripping over the bodies of their enemies now littering the ground, the two men finally caught up to the rest of their platoon. They stopped to catch their breath, hearts racing and lungs heaving.
“Did ya notice…there’s no blood…on those dead…guys?” gasped the recruit.
The older man nodded in the affirmative, words temporarily forced to the sidelines of his throat by the stampeding inrush of air. One word escaped.
“Hail…stones,” he said.
The younger man looked around. “Huh?”
“That was…before you…got here.” His partner took a few seconds to control his breathing before he launched into a more detailed explanation for the benefit of his befuddled friend.
“Yah, actually Yahweh got more of them than we did! Sent big stones and these Amorites fell like trees before the wind.” He looked around, taking note of the dust that he could see on the horizon. There didn’t seem to be as much of it as he had noted earlier in this long day. The rugged outline of mountains darkening before a setting sun provided a backdrop for the swirling gray created by the pounding of the sandaled feet of an enemy on the run.
Just then the sound of pounding feet coming from the other direction, from behind the two soldiers, caught their attention. Before they could turn more than halfway around, the voice of command stiffened them into immobility.
“And just what do you two think you are doing? If you don’t get moving you are going to miss the end! Those rebel kings are heading for the caves in those mountains and they won’t escape from there.”
The man who had come upon them had no badge of rank, but authority seeped through his sweated covered clothing. It echoed in his tone and shot from his eyes like arrows.
“Yes, sir! Just catching our breath, sir. It’s been a long day, sir.”
To the amazing of the soldiers, the new arrival began to laugh. “Well, boys, you got that right. In fact, it’s been two days since last that sun over there set.”
Noting the look of incredulity on the faces of his new companions, he added: “Oh, I know it’s hard to believe, but I was standing right beside General Joshua himself when he asked Yahweh to give him some extra time to finish the mopping up operations. And as sure as I’m standing here now it was noon for a very long time—like I mean a seriously long time! You’ve probably been too busy to notice. If I hadn’t been there myself, I would have had a hard time believing it. So if you think you’re tired—you are! You’ve missed two whole nights’ rest.”
And so it was, according to the annals of biblical history, that one day turned into two and skipped a night. Thankfully, it only happened once. I can think of a few fighting men who were certainly grateful to God to finally enjoy the falling of night and catch up on their sleep.
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