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Re: The Giant Robot Mission

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@l191694c  Hello and welcome to the online community. I know you've posted some of your writing in various places, and that's OK. I'm wondering, though, if you are aware that there is a forum specifically for sharing writing? This site can be a challenge to navigate, I know, so here's the direct link: http://community.aarp.org/t5/Writing-Books/bd-p/bg155

 

You'll find it on the right side of your screen under the Entertainment forums. (see below)

 

Forum navigation.pngThese are the sub forums that are revealed when one clicks on the Entertainment Forum in the list on the right of your screen:

 

 

 

 

Entertainment sub forums.png

 

Hoping this helps, and wishing you every good gift,

Epster

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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The Giant Robot Mission

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We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a] 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:1-7

 

I knew it had to happen. For 18 months, the "robot" creature in the backyard grew to gigantic proportions. While it could be hidden inside a tent or a tarp, I didn't mind so much. It was Allen's project and it kept him occupied. But when the thing outgrew its tent, I knew we were in for trouble.

To no one but Allen would the jumble of aluminum cans, metal pieces, wooden pallets, and wheels resemble a robot. I saw a pile of junk; he saw a creation that would one day move and function. Anytime I was tempted to complain, I reminded myself of just what the project meant to Allen.

Our neighbors were not as understanding. Notes were shoved under my door demanding the demise of the monstrosity. One woman loudly complained that I was a “terrible mother” to allow my son his collection of Frankenstein-esque parts.

It became clear that to maintain harmony with my neighbors, the Giant Robot would have to go.

 

Honestly, I don’t always agree with what my neighbors do, either. I get tired of the little dog that barks anytime I get out of my car, and the kids in the back who jump on their trampoline at all hours of the night. But in Romans 15:1-7, the Apostle Paul encourages us to “please our neighbors”, particularly those of us who are mature Christians.

 

Let’s take a moment and think back to the time of Jesus. The leaders of the nation of Israel were instructed to serve the people and protect the helpless, but they failed miserably in their mission. Obviously, their own mission did not coincide with God’s. Jesus rebuked those who abused their power. In Matthew 23:2-4, Jesus says, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

 

Ouch. Strong words from God’s Son, who was clear what His own mission on earth was. Jesus wanted His disciples to use their power to serve others. In Mark 10:44-45, He told them that they must serve others, not themselves. 

 

Allen had been clear in his own mission. It began in April of 2015 when Ron was hospitalized—again—with clinical depression and heart issues. Coincidentally, Allen had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. While my son began job training with Occupational Vocational Rehabilitation, he was not allowed to work. And my kids, all three of them, are workaholics. Allen had time on his hands. I did not. With Ron in the hospital for six weeks, and me working three jobs, Allen was left to his own devices. Enter the Mission to Build a Giant Robot.

 

According to SAMHSA (2016), adults on the autism spectrum disorder tend to be introverted and often look for ways to self-medicate in order to avoid a sense of anxiety and stress. While genetics play a part in ASD, a chemical imbalance in the brain contributes to developmental delays and problems with thought-processing and neural stimulation. 7.9 million Americans with a mental disorder self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

 

I did not want Allen to be one of them. While he went for job-training and dealt with physical and mental testing requirements, he built his robot. I bought a bigger tent.

 

Alas, one Sunday afternoon we took the Giant Robot down piece by piece and hauled it away to the junk yard in a rental truck from Home Depot. For the sake of our mission to win our neighbors to Christ, the robot had to go. Its own scrappy mission—keeping Allen occupied-- was over.

 

Accept one another, Paul advises us in Romans 15:7. I might wish that my neighbors and those who encounter Allen might recognize the uniqueness that lies beneath his quirks. I might wish that the poster of Romans 12:18 that hung in my long-ago college dormitory room would hang in everyone’s home.

 

I can only, as much as possible, live at peace with everyone.

 

And have Allen confine his robot projects to the basement.

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