My six-year-old autistic son has developed a new fascination on our morning commute to therapy. At first it was city busses. He would count them with excitement as they passed us by. Then he moved on to orange cars. Any orange vehicle produced applause from his car seat. Next it was cement mixers that caught his attention. Now, it is speed bumps.
Drive him over a speed bump and you will have a friend for life. As we approach the speed bump he screams “BUMPERS” gleefully from the backseat. Our church parking lot is full of speed bumps. So now he was one more reason to look forward to going to church. You gotta love that.
On the other hand, once you hit the open road, there aren’t a lot of speed bumps. At least not the constructed ones found in parking lots. That just forces you to get creative. He will gladly point them out to me whenever he sees one. And I have to keep my eyes peeled for them, too. Occasionally we will venture off the main street to seek them out because I know that when we do, I have made his day.
My son’s excitement for speed bumps got me to thinking. It’s a very biblical concept. James 1:2-3 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Speed bumps are like trials. They get our attention. They force us to slow down. They may even take us off our preferred path. And when those things happen, James tells us we are supposed to rejoice. My son has got that part down. He doesn’t just get excited, he seeks them out!
The next time you face a speed bump in life, whether it be the constructed kind or the “many trials” kind, think of my autistic son and James 1:2-3. Do your best to get excited and enjoy the ride.