Best of Daily Reflections: Faithfulness at a Snail’s Pace
He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
The only Biblical account of Jesus’ childhood comes from the Gospel of Luke where, at the age of twelve, Jesus traveled with his family to the Passover festival in Jerusalem. The passage in Luke makes no mention of Jesus performing signs or wonders; only that he astounded people with his understanding and teaching.
From early in his life, Jesus was aware of God's calling. So much so that, at the age of twelve, he felt at home in the temple and even he called it his Father’s house. In the temple, he held his own with the intellectual and theological elites of Judaism.
So, why didn't Jesus’ ministry begin right then? He was obviously a child prodigy. If Mozart could play the piano and violin and compose music at the age of four and Picasso was a world-class painter at age eight, couldn’t Jesus have been ready to be the Savior of the world at twelve? But, that’s not what happened. Instead, Jesus returned home to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary and remained there for the next eighteen years while all of creation groaned for redemption.
So much of life involves waiting.
A car advertisement featured a driver nearing the end of his lifetime supply of patience while crawling along in a column of traffic. He called his wife while his anger simmered. He drummed his fingers on the dashboard. Finally, he hammered both fists down on the steering wheel in a nuclear explosion of frustration. That’s when the camera pulled back to reveal that the car wasn’t in traffic at all. It was still on the assembly line being built.
Mary and Jesus made good use of those years in waiting. Mary used the years to treasure all these things in her heart. And Jesus used them to increase in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favor.
Until Jesus comes again, we're still on the assembly line. So if your life is crawling along at a pace that even a snail would hate, remember what Mary and Jesus did and consider what it means for you.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
What are you waiting for? How can you best use the time while you wait?
O God, you exist from everlasting to everlasting. You occupy every moment. I desire to know you so well that in every moment I find treasures that help me to increase in wisdom and favor. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety." He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.