THE PROMISE OF TUESDAY
by David Sisler
As I write this, a member of our family is waiting for Tuesday. That is the day she will learn the results of the biopsy. A small piece of tissue, no larger than a quarter was removed from her breast and although the doctor said it does not appear to be cancer, she is anxiously contemplating the results of the pathology report.
In last Christmas' hit movie "Star Trek Generations," there was a running joke, the promise of Tuesday.
The Enterprise B, the replacement for Captain James T. Kirk's gallant starship, departed space dock for a little spin around the block. Just past the asteroid belt, an urgent message was received -- two transport ships were in trouble, and, of course, the Enterprise was the only ship in the quadrant.
Quickly, Captain, activate the tractor beams.
We have no tractor beams. They will be installed on Tuesday.
Then launch photon torpedoes.
The torpedoes will be loaded on Tuesday.
Send the medical team to care for the wounded.
Right! But the medical team does not arrive until Tuesday.
A few weeks ago I sat in a Russian businessman's office. My partner and I had been negotiating with him for a contract to supply commodities for his new business. "A draft contract," he told us, "will be ready Tuesday."
When he said that, I smiled out loud.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"No," I said with great good humor, "but, it would take too long to explain it."
The businessman apologized on Tuesday. He had been called away to Arbitration Court.
"Wednesday," he said.
On Wednesday he had to file a $10 million law suit.
On Thursday he was unavoidably delayed at his bank. Underline "his." He owns it.
On Friday he had to meet an international delegation at the airport.
More than two months have passed. Tuesday, like tomorrow, it seems, never comes.
Then we received another call. From another businessman. About another commodity and another contract. Of course, it was to be ready -- I'm not making this up -- on Tuesday. And the promise of another Tuesday has come and gone.
David, the sweet singer of Israel, knew what it was to wait. The prophet Samuel, directed by God, journeyed to Bethlehem and anointed the young shepherd Israel's next king. There was one problem. Saul still occupied the throne. So David waited.
One day, in a fit of jealous rage, Saul threw spears at David and missed. Twice.
Then Saul devised an elaborate scheme to murder David and the young man was forced to go into hiding. It was during that time in his life when David wrote, "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
The etymology of the word "wait" is revealing. It is an old word which means to bind together as a craftsman might twist hemp fibers together to make a rope. Various translations of the Bible render it "trust," or "hope."
He did not mean his poem to be a commentary on the Psalms, but from the deck of a British ship in Baltimore Harbor, Francis Scott Key scribbled down a poem whose opening line asks: "O say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"
From Babylonian captivity, another poet, this one unidentified, wrote, "My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning."
As British ships bombarded Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key peered through the stubborn, lingering darkness hoping to see that his nation's flag would still be waving in the morning air, the victorious banner of liberty.
That is what it means to wait. To wait for the promise of Tuesday.
The prophet Isaiah, his nation in shambles, stared down through the centuries anticipating the Forerunner who would cry out, "Prepare the way of the Lord." With no light of hope anywhere in sight, still Isaiah waited with defiance, waited for the Messiah. With his confidence in God twisted together into a strong rope, attached to a solid anchor, Isaiah declared, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
You've heard the saying, "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in the end, and hang on." It's good advice. Tuesday may never come. The promise may never materialize. What you are waiting for may never appear. But you can trust the God who never gets tired, the God whose only Son died to give you eternal strength
Published in the Augusta Chronicle 12/16/95
Copyright 1995 by David Sisler
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