94968_000_012There is a time … for every purpose and for every work (Eccl. 3:17).
Seven-year-old Adam wanted to be a super hero. He’d seen super heroes on TV, and he’d read a lot of super-hero adventures. He thought that he was qualified for the job. He knew exactly how to thwart bad guys’ plans and stop wrongdoings.
One morning when Adam woke up, he decided that his time to be a super hero had come. He was going to save the day.
“Hurry up,” Mother called. “Breakfast is ready.”
Springing out of bed faster than a flame can flicker, he dressed in an instant, then charged into the kitchen.
“That was fast,” Mother noticed. “You must have big plans for the day.”
“Sort of,” he replied. He didn’t want to say too much. Every seven-year-old knows that super heroes don’t brag.
Adam gulped down his breakfast, his mind awhirl with possible adventures ahead.
Mother’s voice broke into his thoughts. “Oh my,” she sighed. “I almost forgot that I promised to pick a basket of raspberries for Mrs. Evans this morning. Adam, could you clear and wash these breakfast dishes so I can get started?”
At first, Adam was a little annoyed. After all, he had more important things to do. He had to save the day. Oh well, he thought. It’s still early, and the day hasn’t needed saving yet. Besides, if Mrs. Evans was going to make jam with the raspberries, maybe she’d save a jar for him. He liked Mrs. Evans, and Mrs. Evans knew that he liked raspberry jam.
After the dishes were done, Adam practically flew out the front door. He stopped at the end of the driveway and surveyed the neighborhood with his eaglelike vision. It seemed pretty quiet, but every super hero knows well that quiet can be deceiving.
Suddenly the quiet was broken! His little brother, Aaron, was yelling from the front porch. “Adam, Mom wants you to tie my shoes.” Aaron was four and was just learning to tie his shoes.
Adam trudged up the stairs to the front porch and began to tie his younger brother’s shoes. Then a super idea came to him: If I teach Aaron how to tie his own shoes, I won’t have to do it anymore, and I’ll have more time to save the day! He sat patiently with his brother. It was frustrating at first, but pretty soon Aaron’s fingers did just what they were supposed to do. Now Aaron could tie his own shoes.
Helping Aaron tie his shoes had taken longer than Adam had expected. He hoped that he hadn’t been needed for an emergency. He decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, keeping his eyes and ears open for any signs of trouble.
Except for two dogs treeing a cat, he didn’t see anything. He chased the dogs away and coaxed the cat out of the tree. It wasn’t his idea of a super hero’s job, even if the cat seemed happy. Discouraged, he went home.
“Hi,” Mother said. “I was just coming to find you. We need to go to the grocery store and buy a few things for dinner. Go jump in the car.”
Adam brightened a little. Maybe he could save the day at the store. Anxious to get there, he helped Aaron and their younger sister, Jenna, put on their seat belts before he buckled his own. Once inside the store, his eyes scanned the aisles in search of anything amiss.
Adam pushed the cart while Mother loaded it with groceries. With Jenna sitting in it, it was getting harder and harder to push. By the time they got to the checkout stand, he was very tired, but he was sure that all the pushing had made his muscles stronger. A super hero needed to be really strong. But he was disappointed that he hadn’t been needed to save the day.
Once they were home, he helped carry in the groceries and put them away. And while Mother fixed dinner, he set the table. After dinner, he decided he might as well clear it too.
The day was almost over. In just a couple more hours, it would be time for bed, and he hadn’t saved the day yet. He decided to go out on the porch and take one last look around the neighborhood.
Just as he was going out the door, he heard Jenna crying. She was ready for bed and wanted to hear a story. Adam could hear Mother in the other room, helping Aaron get ready for bed. Adam was a good reader, and he figured that reading one story wouldn’t take too long. He settled Jenna in her bed and read her favorite story to her—then another and another. By the time she fell asleep, it was almost time for Adam to get ready for bed. I haven’t done one thing to save the day, he thought. Not one sinister plan has been stopped. No one has needed rescuing. I haven’t saved the day at all.
As he lay in bed, thinking about his wasted day, Mother came to find him. “Adam, you got ready for bed awfully early. Are you feeling all right?”
“Yeah—I guess I’m just tired.”
Mother smiled. “I bet you are—you really saved the day for me today. Thank you.”
“What?” Adam sat upright in his bed. “What did you say?”
“I said that you saved the day for me today. I never could have finished all the things that needed to be done if it weren’t for your help.” And with a quick kiss on his forehead, Mother was gone.
“I saved the day!” Adam whispered excitedly. “I really did it!”
That night Adam the super hero fell asleep thinking of ways he could save the day tomorrow.