A few years back, I remember that Coca-Cola had a ad campaign about celebrating the 25th anniversary of Diet Coke. It was then that I realized I was older than Diet Coke. This seemed unfathomable. Like a staple in my life that I figured had always been around suddenly told me I was a fossil.
Today I turn older than Jesus. The big 3-4.
|me and my people. we tough.|
Okay, let's not get into theological semantics about how Jesus has actually existed forever, etc. I get it, yes yes yes. But, we know He lived on Earth in human form and was crucified at the age of 33...so, in my head, in my image of who Jesus is as a man on this planet - He is sort of eternally 33. Does that make sense?
My whole life, Jesus has been older. When I was a child, He was just flat-out old. Then, as time will have it, we aligned to be peers more and more. While my understanding and wisdom is severely (severely) lacking in comparison, I could imagine life more and more as a human adult the closer and closer I got to it.
Now, there's just no denying I'm a grown-up. Now, when I look at paintings or drawings of the imagining of what Jesus looked like - I'll always be older than Him. I will have a new perspective of imagining what it would have been like to know and live with Jesus as an older-than-Him friend.
This is bizarre for me! I don't know about you, but for me, I haven't followed the example of a lot of people who were younger than me. Most of my life, I look to those who've lived longer; I turn to those who have greater experience than me to teach me the most.
Yet, now I can sort of imagine a new perspective of a person in the Bible - the person who met Jesus and may have thought "THIS guy? But he's so young! He's only been doing ministry like a few YEARS or so!? Why should I follow him? How could He understand my life?"
It's tempting in this life to think that only the oldest, wisest, most experienced people could teach me the most. It's been nice to have the excuse of youth to fall back on when poor choices are made. But, there is so much greater freedom in embracing the idea that I will never ever be perfect in this life; and there is such insurmountable hope found in the fact that God exposes me to grace and love and wisdom from the most unlikely of places and people.
Granted, I might not yet be old enough to yell at the neighbor kids to get off my lawn or eat dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon. But, I'm old enough to know that I don't know everything and I never will. It's refreshing and relieving, and not at all disappointing like I would have thought many years ago. At this point in my life, as a grad student and mother, I'm humbled daily at how much there is to learn (over and over and over again) in this life. And I look forward to spending the coming years (hopefully many!) learning from the unexpected.
After all, the most important lessons of my life came from some young carpenter chap who had the reputation for stirring up trouble in the temple.