Looking around my living room, I see a pile of toddler legos, pillows tossed off the couch, a large cardboard box, (excuse me, boat) a stuffed elephant and a pile of crushed Chex cereal.
Nothing here to inspire a spiritual musing.
Or is there?
A few months ago I began thinking about Jesus' ministry. As a young man, just coming into his teen years, Jesus was left behind during a festival - and his parents found him astounding the rabbis and teachers of the temple with his questions and commentary. At that age, it would have been acceptable for him to request to study at the temple. Can you imagine what might have occurred in his ministry if he'd had the support of the teachers and religious leaders?
Instead, he chose to go home with his parents:
So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. (Luke 2:51-52 MSG)
His choice, to go live a normal, blue-collar, everyday, ho-hum kind of life was blessed, favored - both by God and by the people around him.
Another translation reads:
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
(Luke 2:52 KJ21)
All those years, that some might consider 'wasted', God used. Jesus grew taller (stature) and developed wisdom. His actual ministry was about 3 years in length. The bulk of his life he spent just living. Jesus considered everyday life important. So much so, that he chose to live with his parents, working alongside his dad in a blue collar job for the bulk of his life.
I am encouraged by that. As a mom and a wife, sometimes it feels like life is passing me by. The temptation is to look at someone else's life and think - I'm not doing enough, or I'm not doing something important.
In our world today, it's hard to separate the glitz and hype of religious television, shouting preachers, emotional sermons and gut-wrenching worship music from the quiet, everyday living, life-example that Jesus gave us.
In your life today, your normal, washing dishes, making dinner, changing diapers, going to work and getting an oil change for the car-life, you have the opportunity to live like Jesus.
These are the life-skills Jesus decided were so important that he held off ministry to practice and attain.
Today's encouragement? Right where you are, you can be like Jesus.
Waiting for the 'next thing'?
Master the Jesus-skills right where you are first.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)