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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Chillax (04/03/14)

TITLE: Dicing With Death
By Graham Insley
04/10/14


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Johnny was screaming as the car rocketed down the slope towards the bend ahead. His whole body was violently thrown to one side as they tore round the bend -- and then jerked back as they did a sling shot down the straightaway.

"Calm down and relax," Sammy shouted above the roaring wind in the open top car. "Enjoy the ride." The laughter in Sammy's voice made it obvious that for him this was pure fun. Johnny did not agree.

As they hit another steep downhill slope, the young lad's body was again aggressively thrust against the seat restraint. An involuntary scream was pulled away by the wind to join the cacophony of racing sounds that surrounded them.

Think of God, think of anything else but this. Johnny tried to focus his mind on something that would take away the fear that was starting to wrap itself around heart and mind. No weapon formed against me will prosper, my life is in His hands and nothing will happen that He has not ordained for my good. All things work together for my good to form me into the likeness of Christ.

The car was slowing slightly as it went up a steep rise and Johnny breathed a sigh of relief; but the relief was short lived. Waiting on the other side of the crest was an even steeper downhill run into a breathtaking chicane. Instead of slowing for the extra curves, the car seemed to pick up speed and slam its way through like a fool rushing in to certain death.

"It's okay, we're safe." The older boy's voice contained no fear. "Just relax."

Johnny tried to remember what his dad had told him the other day about facing his fears and controlling his reactions. "When your emotions take over, you are out of control. Remember Elijah in the cave."

The young lad forced himself to remember the story of the old Prophet. He had walked out to the mouth of the cave to be confronted by the world being torn apart. Great and strong winds were literally breaking rocks into small pieces and flinging them through the air like tissue paper. But God was not found in the midst of all of that danger, chaos and confusion.

And then there had been an earthquake. The violent shaking of the ground that Elijah stood on must have terrified the old man; with crevices forming before his eyes, large rocks crashing down as they were split and thrown from their perch and the animals running and screaming in fear. But again, God was not found in the fear and panic that surrounded the Prophet.

Then there had been a fire -- raging, scorching heat and flames that leaped to consume everything in their path. That must have really frightened Elijah and made him wonder how he would survive the day. And yet, again God was not in the midst of the certain doom and despair that came with the cracking sound of the fire.

But God was in the still small voice that followed all of the emotional turmoil that had assaulted Elijah's senses.

That was when another violent curve shattered Johnny's thoughts and brought him back to the moment. Suddenly the car was airborne and the two boys were upside down, still traveling at break neck speed, and Johnny knew that death was only moments away.

Be still and know that I am God. Johnny repeated the words from Scripture several times to calm his racing heart and relax his tense mind.
Miraculously the car flipped again and they were suddenly the right way up and thrust back into a plummeting, downhill race.

"Yes, Lord!" Johnny's lungs screamed out the praise his heart was now filled with. "Thank You, Father." The young lad felt the calm flood his mind and he now knew, beyond all doubt, that he was safe and God was in control. Now I can relax from my fears and enjoy this.

That was when the roller-coaster ride came to an end; the air brakes came on and the car pulled to a stop at the customer platform.

"See, doubting Thomas, I told you that it was safe."

Johnny looked into his big brothers eyes and smiled. "Can we go again? Please?"

References: Isa 54:17, Romans 8:28, 1 Kings 19:9-12, Psalms 46:10.


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This article has been read 104 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Thelander 04/11/14
Ok, I had to google chicane. New word for me so you made me smarter for starters.

Then I was thinking of all those over dramatic scenes in movies where, in the midst of violence, there is time for the eyes-lips-eyes-lips...dive in for a dramatic mushy kiss before the bomb explodes. (while the boy was remembering his Bible stories) Whole time I was like...seriously he is in a near death experience... BAM...you hit me with the roller coaster trick.

Nice. :)
Toni Hammer 04/13/14
Wonderfully unexpected ending. I also enjoyed the integration of Elijah's story. Most definitely on topic. Great work.
Margaret Kearley 04/13/14
Brilliant! You had me fooled - I was completely on the wrong tack till I got to your ending!! Greatly relieved I was wrong! Wonderful writing, great descriptions. I love the way you included Scriptural truth and the story of Elijah.
Judy Sauer 04/13/14
Panic swept over me as I could relate so much with Johnny. Being in a place where you have no control but to pray is heart stopping.

As I read this, I kept imagining a wild ride on the crazy highway from Tahoe to Reno. You had me fooled when learning this was a roller coaster ride. I don't like those either. Yet the funny part is Johnny obviously faced his fears and wanted to ride again. Oh my!
Joe Moreland04/13/14
Okay, maybe it's a guy thing, but I had this pegged for a roller coaster ride from the first couple of sentences. I guess we're always looking for the next roller coaster. :)

The writing was seamless and the race through Johnny's mind for coming to grips with his fear was riveting. The whole piece felt like a roller coaster ride. What an excellent job you did of bringing to life such a tactile experience. This is an example of some excellent writing by a very experienced writer.
Joe Moreland04/13/14
Okay, maybe it's a guy thing, but I had this pegged for a roller coaster ride from the first couple of sentences. I guess we're always looking for the next roller coaster. :)

The writing was seamless and the race through Johnny's mind for coming to grips with his fear was riveting. The whole piece felt like a roller coaster ride. What an excellent job you did of bringing to life such a tactile experience. This is an example of some excellent writing by a very experienced writer.
CD Swanson 04/14/14
I usually don't read the comments before I write mine, but I couldnt' help but see the one above mine...and had to say "I knew it was a roller coaster ride too, and I'm not a guy! LOL." It must be from all of the roller coaster rides I went on as a child in Coney Island!

But, having said that. This was a well written story with a positive message thrown into the action that definitely was riding throughout this tale.

Great job.

God bless~
Bea Edwards 04/14/14
Oh my word-what a rip roaring ride!

You had me totally bamboozled. One of those 'really & no way' surprise finishes.

Loved it-thanks.

Verna Cole Mitchell 04/14/14
This exciting story is really well done--even to the lesson from Scripture. You nailed the suspense.
George Parler 04/14/14
Great ride! I will admit I didn't see the roller coaster coming. I guess it was from all the dumb stunts I pulled in a vehicle when I was younger. Good writing!
Sheldon Bass 04/16/14
Hair raising adventure! I don't think I'd have gone for the second spin though. I almost ripped the arm rests off my chair from gripping them so tightly. Good job.
CD Swanson 04/17/14
Congrats!

God bless~