As we start another year of home schooling I find myself both grateful and humbled. I’m grateful that I can stay home with my girls and not have to work outside the home to earn a second income in order to survive. I know that not every mom who would like to stay home has that option.
I’m also humbled by this choice. When I say humbled I mean my flesh is truly put in its place as I die to my selfish ambition and fleshly tendency to turn this temporal life into an idol.
Staying home, teaching and raising my girls, is part of my “hidden life” with Jesus. In the eyes of the world, and sometimes in my own eyes, it’s not the most spectacular of vocations. It’s a simple vocation without glory in this world. Deep within I know the eternal worth and value of this hidden life but I can easily forget this truth which is why these words by Henri Nouwen on the hidden life of Jesus are a much needed reminder…
The largest part of Jesus’ life was hidden. Jesus lived with his parents in Nazareth, “under their authority” (Luke 2:51), and there “increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people” (Luke 2:52). When we think about Jesus we mostly think about his words and miracles, his passion, death, and resurrection, but we should never forget that before all of that Jesus lived a simple, hidden life in a small town, far away from all the great people, great cities, and great events. Jesus’ hidden life is very important for our own spiritual journeys. If we want to follow Jesus by words and deeds in the service of his Kingdom, we must first of all strive to follow Jesus in his simple, unspectacular, and very ordinary hidden life.
The world beckons us to pursue fame, glory and “self”-fulfillment but what is God asking you to seek first? Your vocation will look different than mine but is it possible that Jesus is calling you, in your own way, to live a “simple, unspectacular and very ordinary hidden life” for the sake of His Kingdom?