With Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us, the Hildans have officially reached the halfway mark in the program. With this bittersweet realization we have returned to wondering about what happens when the program ends and we have to decide what we are going to do for the rest of our lives. Some of us are decidedly more settled on this than others, but there are others, myself included, who simply have no clue.
Worry, it seems to go hand in hand with an undecided future. We worry that we are missing something, that we are making wrong choices. We put value in lives that are full of adventure and daring and we want to be able to say that we did something that made a profound difference on other people’s lives. We worry that our lives aren’t really like that, that maybe God doesn’t have a plan for us. We get ahead of ourselves and we wade through life directionless, feeling anxious and lost.
Lately, I have been thinking about what Jesus’ life might have been like in his early twenties. Really we know very little about the life of Jesus in his younger years. When he was approximately 12 he visited the temple and after that there is very little until he begins his public ministry around the age of 30. In the meantime we are told that “Jesus grew in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with men and God (Luke 2:52). Mark tells us that Jesus was a carpenter like his father, Joseph. It would seem that in His twenties Jesus lived a fairly quiet and considerably normal life. He was a carpenter for the practical reason that His father was a carpenter.
The fact is that most people live what many of us would consider average lives. We grow up and get jobs and make friends and lose friends and frequent the same places and do all sorts of familiar things and most of us tend to feel a bit unsettled about this. We strive to find purpose and find the routine in its place.
This week as I have been reflecting on Jesus life I have been trying to find a sense of peace about where I am at now and where I am heading. I imagine that even as Jesus lived a simple life in His early twenties He lived a life of generosity and love and we should do the same. It is my prayer that as the Hildans and many others transition into new roles and responsibilities that we will grow in wisdom and stature and find peace with how we can show love in the here and now.