Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)
TITLE: The FaithRiders Challenge
By Tim Pickl
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Direct sunlight reflected off the dusty, dark-gray surface of the Moon all around the FaithRiders EarthsMoon Settlement (EMS). In stark contrast--shaped like the ‘muffin top’ with swirling white clouds on a deep-blue background --the Earth beautifully beamed over the Moon’s horizon.
Kristy and Arianna stepped off the EMS ramp into the dismal Moon dust in shiny red, white and blue-colored space suits.
Arianna lifted her right arm and pointed at the Earth with a red-colored glove. “It’s so wonderful, Mommy.”
“I love visiting Grandpa here.”
Kristy waited, then announced, “I have somethin’ important to tell you.”
“Wh-what’s goin’ on, Mommy? Is Grandpa—“
“Oh no, punkin—it’s nothin’ like that. But, I’m going to tell you during the six-month trip home.”
‘Home’ was located in the FaithRiders Mars Settlement (MS).
“Earth is so beautiful.” Kristy added. She grew up on Earth and longed to return-- “Ohh… Some day…”
They stood there for several minutes--a blue-gloved hand clutching a red-gloved one—simply thankful, silently enjoying the spectacular view of God’s creation. Stars sparkled all around the Earth, almost like fireworks.
Arianna broke the silence, “Mommy?”
“Can we play a game?”
“Sure, why not?!”
“Let’s play Truth or Dare. I’ll ask you first: Truth…..or dare?!”
Kristy smiled through the refractive visor of her space suit. “Your Grandpa Scott told me he calls you DARE-ianna.”
“So, I DARE you to jump ‘over the moon’.”
Immediately Arianna bounded with three long hops toward a large trampoline. Perched about 12 meters above the trampoline was a flexible, thick plastic bar—nicknamed ‘the moon’—loosely held between two flex-poles.
Arianna began jumping on the trampoline, getting higher with each bounce.
“Look, Mommy! This is the closest I ever got!”
With one last bounce Arianna almost succeeded, but ultimately fell back down.
Sadness covered Arianna like a blanket, squelching her enthusiasm. “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
“Oh, punkin, it’s okay.” Just then, Kristy had an idea. “Let’s try it again—together.”
They crawled onto the trampoline, stood and faced each other, holding hands. Simultaneously they began to bounce.
It worked! They got high enough to go over the pole, but Kristy’s left boot caught the pole and they fell down together, with the pole bouncing off toward the Settlement.
After giggling for a moment, Arianna exclaimed, “I love you Mommy! You’re the best Mommy in the Galaxy – no-- in the Universe!”
“And you’re the best daughter.”
With happy tears in her eyes, Kristy asked, “Truth… or Dare?!”
“Both. I dare you to tell the truth. The Bible says, ‘And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ Tell me about Daddy, please?”
That cut to the heart. Kristy finally relented, and told Arianna the true story of what happened to her father.
Commander Arianna sighed. The conviction her mom felt in her heart that day was straight from Heaven’s throne. But now, it’s Arianna’s turn.
“I need to’ speak the truth in love’ today.”
Arianna stood up at the head of the conference room table to address the FaithRiders Mission Council. Orion’s Belt was perfectly projected on a virtual star map on the wall behind her.
“About 20 years ago, my mother courageously told me the truth about something deeply personal to both of us. It was a very brave act on her part—and it’s something I’ll never forget. ‘The truth hurts’, as the old saying goes, but at the same time, Truth is liberating, as the Bible says.”
Arianna paused, glancing into the eyes of each one of the 12 present. She picked up her Flexible Personal Scroll Device (FlexPSD), and read a statement. “FaithRiders will follow the Interplanetary Settlement Organization (ISO) by establishing a Stations and Settlements in Orion’s Belt sector. This bold initiative follows the original vision set by the FaithRiders original Commander Scott to ‘take the gospel to every world, anywhere interplanetary pioneers settle.’”
She looked again at the Board members. “But, there are some amongst us—even sitting here--who want to stop this ‘expensive’ challenge. I asked myself, ‘What wouldn’t we spend to reach just one soul—or a Settlement?’ My friends, after praying and seeking counsel about this decision:
“FaithRiders will go forward, together.”
John 8:31-32 (NLT)
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)
Mark 16:14-16 (The Message)
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