The saying in the fortune cookie said, “The road to glory will be rocky but fulfilling.” I laughed out loud, though there wasn’t anyone around to hear me. If there is one thing I’ve noticed as I get older it’s that there are rocky places for each of us. Rare are the days that there aren’t waves to rock our boat.
Now, is the advent season, when we wish we would take time—real serious time—to focus on the incarnation of Jesus, our Savior. So many things keep us distracted, but at least, let’s start out pondering the mysteries and incredulousness of those days so far removed from the here and now.
In a small village, not one to really even notice on the map of the world at that time, lived a man, a carpenter. Trained as a typical Jewish man of his day, I imagine him as an ordinary guy that any of us might know. Engaged to Mary, he probably thought things were looking up for him.
And they were…
Just not in the way he was anticipating.
There’s blessing in not looking too far ahead. Sometimes I think people plan too much today. Seniors, who don’t know what they want to do forever and ever, fret over the approaching graduation that’s a mere semester away. Yet, sometimes, all we need to do is to take the next step.
If Joseph and Mary’s world was going to be rocky, think about Jesus—stuck in human flesh. What happens when the Potter turns to clay? Did 33 years seem long or short for the Creator who’d never experienced time and space limitations? I don’t know.
Mary, bewildered, went to visit Elizabeth. Joseph, heartsick, decided to quietly end the engagement. On the edge of utter spectacular, the two people most affected in all the world probably spent many hours pondering where their road to glory would lead. We know the end of the story. We know that it was often rocky. We doubt they looked too far ahead because no one could imagine what was really going to take place.
The only truly important thing today is to know we’re on the road to Glory. Some days will be rocky. Some will be fulfilling. Today, I want to remember I can be on the road to Glory because Jesus left Glory. God Himself wrapped in a young woman’s womb.
Amazing, unbelievable—when the Creator became the created.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything