Monday, June 29, 2009



Walter was driving a car that was out of control. He was on a winding mountain road one minute, and then suddenly his car swerved through a curve. He broke through the guardrail and was plummeting down a mountain slope at a breakneck speed. The aspen trees at the end of a meadow seemed to bend sideways in an effort to avoid a collision when suddenly the car lifted from the ground and soared over the tops of the trees, his wheels slapping the leaves underneath him. His car-turned-airplane was climbing so rapidly that the tall mountains now seemed small to him. He banked to the right and lost control of his car again. This time he was falling. Faster and faster until he was nose diving into the same meadow. Suddenly, a cliff loomed in front of him and his car smashed mercilessly into the cliff and erupted into a ball of flame.

Walter sat up in bed, his hair soaked with sweat. He was trembling from his dream. Every night was the same. The same dream. The same results. The same death. Every night for a week he died in the same miserable accident.

It all started with the evangelist who pointed an accusing finger at him and said, “You never know when God will call your name. You never know when your life will end. You might die in a car accident on your way home tonight. If you have not repented of your sins, you had better do so now. If you wait even a few minutes, you might be waiting too long. To delay only means that you are storing up more of God’s wrath against you on the Day of Judgment. For you see, you will have to give an account of your life when you die….”

The evangelist had scared him. Walter was a sinful man, and he enjoyed his sinful life very much. Not many people had experienced as much in life as he had—and he wanted more. At first he had laughed at the preacher for saying that he, Walter, really didn’t enjoy his sinful life. Ridiculous! He experienced wine, women, and song daily. He was rich and he could afford every vice that could be purchased. He didn’t have to seek out women; they sought him. He was strong and good-looking and he had more sex than most movie stars. As of yet, he had not grown tired of it. He loved his pleasures and he planned on enjoying his life as long as he could continue to roll the dice. He expected to die of AIDS some day, but that was later. Much, much later. Today he was young and wanted to live it up. His father had died of a heart attack at the age of 40. Walter knew that most men in his family died young and wanted to enjoy himself before it was too late.

Sure, he enjoyed his pleasure, but he didn’t want to stand responsible for any of it—especially before God. That part bothered him. That and the part about dying unexpectedly. Was it time for him to settle down? Was it time to quit playing games with God?

He crawled out of his bed and looked at…Veronica? He didn’t remember her name. She was just another delicious dish that threw herself into his bed. She was gorgeous. Sure, he could turn his back on sin, but why? Why give up girls like Veronica? There were so many more out there. Tomorrow it might be Christy, or maybe Linda. He remembered a girl named Linda…and her sister! Wow! The boys at the club slapped him on the back for that. He couldn’t give it up. It was too good to stop. God could jump in the lake as far as he was concerned.

He walked into the kitchen and downed a glass of water. He drank too much last night and his mouth was dry and his eyes blurry. He sat on the couch in the lower den and scowled at the couple who had passed out and sleeping on the floor under his coffee table. He didn’t even know who they were, but it didn’t matter. During the night, one of them had vomited on his carpet and they were sleeping in it. But, they had a good time. And a good time is the only thing that will last—if you have enough money, that is. He stared out of the huge bay window and watched the moon set over the ocean, and then went back to his bedroom. Veronica had turned over and he stared at her naked body. No, he was not ready to give up and turn to God. He just loved his sin too much. He tried to wake her up, but she was too drunk to rouse. How much did she smoke and drink last night? Disappointed, he fell asleep.

Hours later he heard the floorboard creaking in his room and he rolled over. Suddenly, the hair on his neck prickled and he was staring at a dark figure next to his bed. The man wore a mask and was holding a gun, a gun that was pointing at Walter’s head. Walter tried to speak, but his voice was gone. His heart was beating so fast that he was growing dizzy. He tried to kick his feet, but he couldn’t wake up.

The figure continued to move toward him, extending the gun toward his temple. Walter tried again to cry out, but his voice was failing him. Wake up! He kept telling himself, then the gun touched his forehead and he felt the cold steel press into his skin. He wasn’t dreaming!

The voice was gruff and it scared him even more than he already was. “Is your name Walter?” He couldn’t respond. He only nodded his head. “Is that Veronica?” Again, Walter nodded. “Well, guess what, Playboy? I hope you are prepared to meet God, ‘cause you are on your way.” Walter saw his finger tighten on the gun, but never felt the bullet that sent him into eternity.


gzusfreek said...

Wow! Pretty powerful, Travis. Whew. . .
We never know if we are dreaming on on our way.
Thank you, Jesus, for your mercy and your Love. ;)
I'd not be here without it!
Powerful piece, Travis!

Alison Bryant said...

Even though I'm assured of my salvation, this makes me reassess how I spend my time.
I've always loved how Jesus used parables to get across deep concepts, and I love how you do the same thing with many of your stories. Kudos!

Travis said...

Thanks for stopping by, girls. Your thoughts are appreciated. I haven't had the time to do any blogging lately. Honestly, I'm fortunate just to get this short story posted this week, which was something I intended to do all last week.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement over the post. I'm always hesitant to post something so confrontational, but they always go over pretty well. I guess I should just quit worrying about it!

jasonS said...

Great story! The whole thing was very vivid in my mind. Came over from Katdish's blog and I'll be returning soon.