Always Striving? – A Short Story

The thought “I’m so tired” flashed through his mind. His eyes stared at the road with an occasional languid blink. As the minutes sped by those blinks came more often. His lids opened and shut more slowly.

He pinched himself and felt the blood move a little faster.

He glanced over at the sign on his right. Only a hundred more miles to Greenstone. They had booked a hotel there, and he only had to make it another hundred miles. He slowly eased his chair back. He was cramping in his right leg.

“They’d been driving all day.” “He’d done most of the driving, and had only slept a few hours last night.” As these thoughts passed slowly through his mind, his eyes shut. Only a few seconds.

His eyes jerked open as he hit the bumps on the side of the road. He woke up, but slowly began to feel tired again. He looked at his children in the back seat, quietly sleeping. His wife sat next to him with a few wisps of her hair moving as she breathed. He must stay awake he told himself. Their lives depended on him.

He glanced up and saw another sign. “Only another fifty miles.”

Ever so slowly his resolve began to fail him. His eyes again fluttered shut more often. He closed his eyes.

He awoke with a pain in his head. He touched his head and felt liquid. He opened his eyes and saw the red glare on his hand. He felt warm. As cognizance slowly came back to him, he turned his head and saw his wife. Sitting there, just as before. But now, his wife’s body no longer breathed. He looked at the dangling rear view mirror and saw what was a peaceful scene before, now turned into a living nightmare.

He sat up in bed. He looked over to see his wife laying next to him sleeping peacefully in their bed and he breathed a sigh of relief.


Our lives are made up of moments. One moment could totally destroy our lives. If we were to drop a hot coal in our laps, we would be left with a scar forever. In the same way, the choices we make can leave scars that will last the rest of our lives.

Many lives have been ruined by men or women doing foolish things. Families, churches, and entire governments have felt the power of the hand of foolishness and lethargy(sin). It ruins lives, it destroys churches, and is incredibly sad.

We must not let our guard down. It only takes one sword thrust to end our lives. We may fight well for an hour, and then let our guard down for five seconds, but it’s that five seconds that mattered. Every second matters, don’t let yourself be caught off guard.

2 replies on “Always Striving? – A Short Story”

Wow. (First off, amazingly written, I really felt drawn into the story)
As I was reading, I was thinking "just pull over for a few minutes, 10 minutes of sleep makes a huge difference", but he never did. 🙁 I've been in that situation before (minus the wife and kids) where you think, "just a little farther, I can make it", but I've found that it gets harder and harder to stay awake.
An epilogue to this story would be interesting. I would imagine that he will be much more thoughtful and careful in the future, and much more loving of his family. I've had dreams like that where at the end, all I could do was huddle in a corner and cry, and then I'd wake up, and realize just how much the people in my life really mean to me.
Thanks so much!

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