Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: Out of Sameness
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For that matter, nothing changed day after day. My job always entailed the same things. My schedule never varied by even a minute. My bike ride proved predictable. The route I took never changed.
Today it had. I stood with my bike on the ascending arch of a bridge no one traveled. All who traveled it never came back the same, if they came back at all.
Nothing stirred my desires or fulfilled the emptiness within as I took in the vast sameness. I turned around to face swirling fog blocking the view of the bridge beyond a hundred yards. It promised of answers I would never find elsewhere.
Would this bridge lead to a way I could grow my faith? I needed little faith when life never changed. I could not test faith in the land of sameness. My faith wanted to grow.
I gripped the handlebars of the bike tightly. Could I do this? Should I even dare leave the comfort I knew?
I started forward up the ascending bridge finding it fairly easy going upon the smooth paving. I gulped as I hit the fog, but I relaxed as the view ahead remained the same distance. I found comfort in a new kind of sameness as I pedaled deeper into the swirling grayness.
The climb grew steeper. Sweat broke forth as I leaned into the bike finding the ascent a grueling challenge. I wanted to give up, but something deep inside told me to keep going. The test had only begun.
I let out a whoop of delight upon reaching the bridge’s apex. Then I took a look back and had to bite my tongue to quench a scream. Nothing but the quiet, swirling fog lay behind. No bridge remained to allow me back to sameness.
I faced forward quickly finding the bridge once more as it arched away to the unknown beyond. It appeared to narrow as it moved on into the fog.
I sucked in a few long breaths of air to calm myself. It felt crisper than the air back home. Neither a scent wafted to my nose nor any sound reached my ears. For such a dead zone it made me feel electrified with life. I knew I could go forward.
The desire to continue made me push the bike forward into a slow descent along the polished stone bridge. When had it changed from paving to these highly polished stones? The smoothness allowed the bike to easily gain speed. I found great delight as the wind whistled past my ears.
“I’m coming, Lord. I should have realized this sooner. Change isn’t that hard.”
Oops! The bridge narrowed to a mere yard without railings. Fear shook me to the core and a wobble to one side released a scream I did not recognize. I knew it could only be mine.
I slowed with effort as tears streamed down my cheeks. So much for what little faith I had. What had I been thinking when I started?
Faith. I had wanted to test my faith. Gulp. I wanted to go home now before it got worse, but I didn’t turn back.
The bridge became a tightrope through the overwhelming fog.
I had to trust. How else would I gain the end?
I closed my eyes and stretched my arms out to the sides tentatively trying to find trust. Then I could smell it. A deep freshness like after a rain. My skin prickled with the exhilarating chill that blew across it. I let it wash the fear away.
I opened my eyes as my bike slowed of its own accord. A rolling landscape of nature lay before me. A glance behind did not reveal a bridge or a wisp of fog.
I had found a whole new beginning where trials abounded to test my faith. No turning back to sameness. For once I had no clue how my day would continue. I had found true life where I needed to live by faith.
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