What if you won a contest but…

What if you won a vacation to an amazing place but had to drop everything on a moment’s notice to accept the prize. It’s the premise behind my book The Coptic Prophecy.

The idea came to me at church on Easter. It struck me that the promise foretold of the rapture–that being when 144,000 of God’s elect will be taken up to heaven in a moment’s notice–wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds. Put together a contest with a similar premise and you uncover dilemmas of biblical proportions.

(Today’s photo is from Puggio Bustone–a place where St. Francis of Assisi climbed in search of God.) Here is an excerpt from the book:

 Meg was wrapped loosely in our comforter and was still sleeping soundly when I entered our room. She had her leg flung over my side of the bed, making full use of the extra space that my absence afforded her. My attention was fixed on her square-jaw from the moment I walked into the room. I knew I was in for a tussle but there was something inside me that needed to be settled too. I came from a long-line of family members who thrived off the workings of detachment that not only muddled our own feelings but led our significant others to question theirs too. No one understood my struggles with feelings more than Meg and I needed her help to make sense of the confusion that the getaway stirred. 

I had long realized that, when confusion became an unwelcome threesome in my relationship with Meg, the truth was the best way to get rid of it. Unfortunately, this approach, although effective, lacked any semblance of subtlety and tended to add a lot of fuel to the fire of any disagreement. I was as graceful as a bull in a china shop when it came to figuring out my feelings. Meg barely had one eye open when I let loose.

“There’s a limousine outside to take us on an all-expense paid vacation to the Fenimore Estate,” I spewed. “I told the man who delivered the good news ‘thanks but no thanks’ but I then had this awful feeling that I was making a mistake that we would regret for the rest of our lives. He drove off; didn’t get very far; and now I need to figure out what to do.”

By the time I was done, Meg’s eyes were wide open. She had a wild look on her face as if she had downed a gallon of Red Bull in a college sorority hazing ritual. I knew by the size of her eyes that she wouldn’t need any time to shake off the cobwebs so I just barreled through everything from there.

I was surprised at the ease by which all the details of my predicament came out of me and even more surprised by how good I felt inside once it all came out. In the end, it was a lot like the unsettled feeling you have in college when you close your eyes but sleep won’t come. You try hard but no matter how hard you try to concentrate, you can’t keep the bed from spinning like a disco ball. Eventually, you concede to yourself that you’ve taken in too much alcohol once again and as soon as you stick your finger down your throat you’re going to feel a whole lot better.

Unfortunately, Meg had the look of a college roommate who had her fill of irresponsible drinking episodes and was considering the best way possible to get a new roommate. A cold look came over her and I was unnerved by the calmness in her voice. “Have you gone crazy?” she asked plainly.

I assured her that I was indeed in full control of all my mental faculties even if a few of my pistons weren’t fully functioning. I tried to express the uncomfortable feeling I had in the pit of my stomach but the more I tried to express it, the crazier it sounded.

“There’s just no way,” she said. “We just can’t drive off into a fantasyland for a few days and come back here with the mess that still needs to be cleaned up. Besides, Matthew has a soccer game tomorrow and I promised Jenny we’d get our nails done.”

(The Coptic Prophecy is available on Amazon).


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