Running….running…running! Breathing hard, knew I was already late.
Out of breath and gasping for more, I wasn’t planning to stop until I reached the church. I couldn’t miss! I had to get there. With several blocks left to go, I stepped up my race-pace. The Red team would be toast once I arrived!
Watery eyes made me squint, and I could hear myself gulping air. My lungs were stinging, but I was purposed. My numb legs mechanically trekked the sidewalk. Nothing could stop me now!
Nothing that is – – – – except a huge moth!
Into my mouth it flew and plastered itself to the back of my throat. I had inhaled this monster-bug! (Well, maybe technically, they are not bugs.)
Ugggghhhh! Yuk! Pft! Pft! Cough…sputter…gag! Then, ( wouldn’t you know it) my involuntary response kicked in and….I swallowed it!
I wanted to throw up, but I couldn’t.
While I was still bent over, making obtuse retching sounds, a concerned passerby, tried to help. Saliva drooled to the ground and my voice wouldn’t work to respond. All I could think of was, “Leave me alone!”
My embarrassment overtook me and, still slobbering and wheezing, all I could do was run.
“Let me help you…..” The voice trailed as I left behind my surprised would-be rescuer.
I didn’t care.
Rounding the corner and out of sight, stopping was finally mandatory. Now I was sick to my stomach and the convulsions hit. My lunch, the moth, and stomach slime splattered the sidewalk and my shoes.
By the time I collected myself and got to the church, I was a mess. All I wanted to do was find the bathroom.
I no longer cared that I was the star of the Blue team and that they couldn’t live without ME. I no longer cared about winning. The wind had been knocked out of my sails and I was just glad for a place of respite.
Faintly aware that I smelled like curdled milk, I sat in the back and watched the two Bible teams go at it.
Sure I knew all the answers, but suddenly, it wasn’t so important. I realized that it was just good to have a place where I was safe and could recover. My head and body hurt.
That day I actually HEARD many of the bible passages that had previously become rote.
Even though I was a pre-teen, I got it. God’s Word comforted me that day like nothing else.
And next time I run? I’ll keep my mouth closed!