It's Still Tuesday
Most people know a road trip can get interesting quickly. The one my family took over Christmas vacation did not disappoint. Our adult son, Ben, debated about coming. The thought of no gaming (his only interest) for three days was disconcerting. However, he had a plan — first, a little history.
Ben bought a one-gigabyte solid-state drive two months before the family trip. For those of you who are not computer experts, this equipment greatly increases computer processing speed because the computer can find the information it needs faster. (Admittedly, the only reason I know this is because my son told me, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t know).
The difficulty Ben faced was getting the drive working. The attainment of a satisfying gaming experience would require him to abstain from games while the computer place installed the drive. What would he do with all that boring time?
Ben saw our trip as an answer to his dilemma. Since we would be traveling the day after Christmas, he planned to take his computer to the shop on Tuesday, December 24 and pick it up as soon as we got home. He even called the place to make sure they would be open. He reasoned he could handle the rest of the week without his games since there would be other activities to occupy his time.
When Ben and I arrived at the computer place, we quickly surmised they were not open. Ben’s frustration level (otherwise known as anger) overflowed just as quickly. Now, remember, at my suggestion, Ben had reluctantly called to verify the store would be open. My son has a strong justice impulse, and a closed business when they said they would be open was not right. The journey home from the computer store on Tuesday, though it took only fifteen minutes, seemed much longer than the approaching trip to our vacation destination. The only fact which calmed Ben was the knowledge he would now have access to his computer for the two days preceding our vacation.
On Wednesday morning (Christmas day), we went to a nearby family member’s home for breakfast. Ben found the solution to his computer problem at that table. Cody, one of the in-laws present there, is experienced with computers. Ben asked, Cody agreed, and a short time later, the problem was gone. Ben offered to pay him something, but Cody told him to consider it a Christmas present.
Because of the upgrade to his computer, Ben’s games performed at peak efficiency. Very short wait for loading — no more lag in video rendering. Ben was still angry at the computer store, but he was elated with the outcome.
Eliminating one issue, however, heightened another one. Ben’s participation in the trip was now questionable but not solely due to the new shine on his toy. There was a second reason Ben hesitated to go. He worried about his ability to physically handle the activities we planned. Our agenda did not include rock-climbing, scuba diving, or hang-gliding. Just walking…a lot of walking.
For people in average health, that would be easy. Ben’s health is not average. Along with his high-functioning autism, virtually every major system in his body has a deficiency that together prevent him from participating in the life most 25-year-olds enjoy.
Ben’s health makes him a virtual prisoner in our home. He does not have a driver’s license. Getting on the roads scares him too much. He has nowhere to go anyway. He has no friends outside his family and the people he communicates with online. Anything other than a work-from-home job is only a dream since he has no stamina.
If you asked Ben, he would say this about his life. Though sleeping as late as you want, playing MMO games all day, and having a minuscule level of responsibility is the life most young adults envy, Ben hates it. He wants friends. He yearns to discover his purpose. He knows there must be more to God’s plan for him than computer games.
After an internal debate, encouragement from us, and securing a wheelchair in case his stamina evaporated, Ben decided to go on our trip. It did not take long for tensions to surface. Ben’s overreaction to a comment at our first stop and his subsequent apology resulted in a familiar discussion.
Why did God make me? If He can do anything, why doesn’t He fix me? Does prayer do any good? It has not changed anything in my life. I’m not sure I want to talk to God anyway.
These are questions we ask daily. Ben has voiced them repeatedly. We answer him with the promises of God. “I know the plans I have for you…” (Jer. 29:11) “We know that all things work together for good…” (Rom. 8:28) These have produced varying levels of success. This time, I had recent evidence to support my faith and build Ben’s.
Ben, do you remember how mad you were on Tuesday? Your plan seemed perfect to you. You would take your computer on Tuesday, spend Christmas and a couple of days doing activities with your family, and then come home to a better computing experience. But the store was closed, and it appeared your plan was over.
Then came Wednesday, and Wednesday brought a solution to your problem – a solution that was so much better than your original plan. Cody installed your new hard drive. Instead of over two days of downtime for your computer, he had it back up and running in under an hour. You were prepared to pay almost a hundred dollars for the install; he did it for free.
Ben, all we can see right now is what is directly in front of us. Your health and the limitations it creates are frustrating. You are questioning everything. You are losing hope that your life will ever get better. But Ben, it’s still Tuesday. Wednesday is just around the corner. Jesus is coming, and He will give you a healthy body without the limitations you currently experience.
Two millennia ago, Saturday was the unjust, confusing day. Jesus lay in a tomb – a victim of mob violence. Though Jesus told His followers this would happen, they didn’t understand. Either they hadn’t wanted to hear it, or they thought this was just another example of Jesus teaching in metaphors which He often did.
However, Jesus’ death was no figure of speech. It was genuine. Mary mourned the loss of her son. Peter wept because he had betrayed his Master and friend. The rest of the Twelve hid in fear the soldiers would come for them next. This was not the ending they expected. Saturday was a terrible day.
But Sunday was coming.
What day of the week is the source of your confusion and frustration? Is it Monday as you face your dead-end, purposeless, thankless job? Perhaps your sadness arises from an empty apartment that greets you at the end of every day.
A stage of life rather than a block on the calendar could be your Tuesday. Retirement is approaching, or at least it’s supposed to be. You clicked off the years, but the savings never materialized. It looks like the future you dreamed of will be delayed indefinitely.
Many days can steal your hope, but tomorrow can restore it. I know what you are thinking. Tomorrow never comes. When it arrives, it’s today, and today is full of hurts and struggles. With Jesus, there is a tomorrow. And that tomorrow will last for all the rest of your today’s.
My family’s trip had a rough beginning, but an enjoyable and meaningful outcome. We ate some tasty food, browsed many shops, slept in comfortable beds, and laughed often. Ben’s legs were strong enough to last. We didn’t use the wheelchair once! More importantly, Ben’s faith grew, and it will endure to the end.
I am under no illusion. Ben will face more Tuesdays. I’ll experience some of my own. However, because we both have Jesus as our Savior, we have confidence He will set everything right when He returns.
Do you have Jesus as your Savior? If so, I can give you the same encouragement I give my son.
It’s still Tuesday. But Wednesday is coming.
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