The Soldier

A Lesson On Spiritual Laxity

By Novid Shaid, 2004

(Author’s Note: First and foremost, this is advice for myself)

A nervous, young soldier, waited impatiently underneath his trench. Listening carefully, he held his breath. For a whole minute he heard silence ruling above him and it seemed that the bullets and bombs had stopped. Hope rising in his heart and feeling the strain of this long, hard, protracted war, he was sure this was a telling sign. Inwardly, he wrestled with his conscience. Fear stated that he should remain cautious and in a state of ever present alertness. Hope said, this was just rewards for his long hard slog, for holding the fort, for his indefatigability. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Oscillating for a while, he sat against the mud and the stench of his trench, becoming increasingly exasperated. He gripped his rifle tightly, clenched his teeth, closed his eyes, then looked up at the sky for help. The silence and peace was just irresistible. Fear, hope. Hope fear. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Hope. That was it. Resolute, he thought it was now safe to chance it above.

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