Friday, September 24, 2010

Jesus as a middle-aged man?

I wonder what Jesus would have been like as a man in his 40s? Of course, most men didn't even make it to the age of 30 in his day (disease and war insured a high mortality rate--70 was the far end of living). But, I can't help but wonder if Jesus would have calmed down a bit, been a little less driven, a little more withdrawn if he had lived another 10 to 20 years. Would he have ever gotten to the point where he said, "Ah, the heck with it," and decided to go home and live out his years in peace and quiet?

Here's a heads-up for all of you 20-somethings (then again, I'm sure you've already noticed): the older you get, the less your zeal for "making a difference" in the world. As a matter of fact, the older I get, the more I don't care about the world, with all of its cultural trappings. I think I'm turning into an old codger. There's so much "buzz" in our culture I don't hear anymore. All the hype that goes along with the superficiality of what is "hot" has almost become annoying to me. I've been thinking lately about all the programs I don't watch, all of the cultural memes that are irrelevant to my life (it especially shows up during commercials--the idiocy is breathtaking). It's caused me to doubt whether I am a true American, thoroughly soaked in the American way of life: can you be a true American and never have watched a WWF match (or any other pay-per-view sports event), or been to a NASCAR race, or bought anything from the shopping channels, or watched a single reality-tv show all the way through?

There are so many things that are evidently very popular that I've never done. I think I'm turning into a hermit, an old man who prefers to sit on his front porch, stare at the beauty of simple things--grass, cows, trees, birds--and proudly come to the conclusion that the world has passed me by.

WWJD?

12 comments:

Darryl Schafer said...

Good grief, I'm 31, and I'm tired of trying to Make a Difference. I'd love some peace and quiet.

And yet...

JD said...

i'm with darryl, at the young age of 28. or maybe i'm not tired of trying, i'm tired of not trying. that can be tiring in and of itself.

Aaron Schmidt said...

I'm 25, and much of my life is spent around those who are well beyond the age of 70.

I think when I'm old(er), I will be less concerned with making a difference and more concerned with finishing well. I hope that my focus shifts from success to faithfulness.

But really, I hope that I don't have to wait until I'm old to be faithful.

Allan D Thompson said...

Perhaps this is why the older generation should be more welcoming and encouraging of young people in the church rather than pushing us down so they can continue to do everything. (Not as snide as I sound I promise)

jesnicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jesnicole said...

"...sit on his front porch, stare at the beauty of simple things--grass, cows, trees, birds..."

Things like that draw me in more than most anything at this point in my life. With loved ones around me soaking in every minute of everyday that we are given....it's the small things.

stephen said...

so are you trying to say I should watch more reality television?

Meagn Jenelle said...

I think Jesus would have his priorities in line. He would know how to make a difference in our world by being an example. He would know that you need to be passionately active in other peoples lives, but you also need to take time to rest (to have a sabbath). He would also be perfect at balancing those things, we as humans tend to lean to the right or the left on. He would know we need to be in the world and not of the world. Perhaps watching reality T.V, and knowing what our culture says is "hot" isn't really all that edifying. He would rebuke with truth and love with grace. Perhaps he would embrace a simple life, while at the same time realizing there is a whole big world out there full of people who need to know him, and he would manage his time, by being in tune with God the Father. I love this blog!! Thanks for getting me thinking with this post!! I realize my response is kinda jumbled, I feel like I could go on and on . . .:) Thanks Again! Have a blessed day!

Rodney Reeves said...

Thanks Darryl, JD, Aaron, Allan, Jessica, Stephen, and Meagn for your comments.

And Meagn, we welcome all ramblers. Stream-of-consciousness writers are in vogue right now.

L said...

at 23 (24 in a couple weeks), i already feel tired. tired of not being able to figure out 'my calling' whatever that means. tired of feeling obligated to focus on a particular area of ministry because i'm 'called.'

being around christians 24-7 is tiring. i feel the rebellious tendency in me to say 'to hell with it' i just want to live my life and see what God does with it.

where is the balance? the tension? can we still be image bearers by sitting on our front porch appreciating beauty? or must we figure out a specific 'calling' in order to further the Kingdom?

dr. reeves, what you do at SBU is pivotal for the Kingdom. you're teaching and presence is potent in shaping us 20-somethings, assuring us that we are image bearers with a restoring purpose. and there will always be dichotomy and tension. you've shaped me. i think you play a completely vital role in our culture... especially for us 20-somethings who need to read the bible in a way that is international, cross cultural, and not an individualized, western, american guide.

Rodney Reeves said...

L,

Thanks for the encouraging words. I resonate with the "already/not yet" reality of our calling. Perhaps the tension is a good thing?

In fact, I like your self-described state: live our life for God and see what happens.

What a roller-coaster ride it is, trying to follow the One who shook everything up for the sake of the kingdom.

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