It was a race against time. In a few short hours, he knew the cohort would surround them. It was dark and cooling off in the deserted olive grove. How often, they had walked here to escape the heat of the day, to talk over life. Tonight, he pushed towards the goal, along the way he told them a parable, one of his favorite ways of teasing them. To make them think, to challenge their status quo. To remind them that following was an adventure.
The faithful few were yawning, a stone’s throw away. A simple request: Watch with me. I need your prayers and your cheers to finish.
They nodded off. He remonstrated with them, please; I need to know I’m not alone. Won’t you press on toward the goal with me?
The third time the sweat on his brow, now, wiped on his sleeve; he was resolved. Panting with exhaustion, yet determined to go the final stretch. To be stretched beyond recognition.