Awake – R.A. Graves

RIP VAN WINKLE IS A SIMPLE MAN. All he ever wanted was to pay his bills and hand down a family legacy to the son who shares his name.

His grandfather built the Cortland Furniture Factory, the biggest employer in Apple Gap. It was his father’s inheritance, and was to be his as well. But what seemed to be a life-long rash of bad luck places Rip Van Winkle, the third, as an employee working on the loading dock, not as the owner sitting in the boss’s chair.

At the age of thirty-five and struggling to pay his bills, Rip carries the burden of losing the three-generations-long legacy. His failure is a shame, especially in light of the town’s motto painted on the side of the hardware store; From our Fathers to our Sons.

Things only get worse. Fueled by a desperate hope of regaining what rightfully belongs to him, and his son, Rip makes a foolish choice. He thought he had nothing to loose. But when you make a deal with the devil, you always lose, even when you get exactly what you had hopped for.

An encounter with a mysterious man who promises Rip everything he wants, leaves him inflicted by sudden sleepiness. Rip falls asleep under a tree in an apple orchard, and as he sleeps, his wife, his two children, and all of Apple Gap, carries on without him – for thirty-five long years.

When Rip awakes he is delighted to learn that his desire was granted. Both his children occupy prominent positions in Apple Gap. He is especially pleased that his son, Jr. owns the family furniture factory. But when God stirred Rip Van Winkle out of his sleep at the age of seventy, He had a greater inheritance in mind.

Rip finds himself in a similar situation, seeking to pass on a new legacy that does not belong to him. Complicating matters is the notion that Rip is a father who abandoned his family. Now he dreams of remaking the decision that he once thought was so wise, but after thirty-five years he has less time, and he is more desperate than ever.

Awake with a late, and unusual opportunity, Rip’s new desperate hope is to reconnect with his children and finally pass down a meaningful inheritance – this one, not made by man to last for generations, but established by God for eternity.

Set in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Awake takes us through a life-long lesson of learning the true value of earthly legacies compared to the eternal gift of life that is inherited only through Jesus the Lord. How can a simple man, riddled with bad luck, guilt and foolishness hand down such a fantastic legacy?