These are positions we find ourselves in when it comes to the progress of our lives.
Sometimes it feels like things are going too slow.
Certainly we can feel stalled.
And those who possess a pint of wisdom are fully aware that you can go so fast that you pass the exit.
The human instinct is to cover up the situation–for after all, it’s difficult to admit that you’re slow or stalled, and confessing to being oblivious and missing an opportunity is extraordinarily painful.
Jesus was human–therefore he went through this.
After all, he didn’t get started until he was thirty. Talk about a failure to launch. History is kind to him because once he got going he was rather productive. Yet had he continued to minister with the same passion he demonstrated as a carpenter, the most famous Jesus in the world would be a baseball player from the Dominican Republic.
The secret to his emergence is found in John the 2nd Chapter. It’s a seven step process–which sounds formidable, but since it is so logical, it may be fairly easy to remember.
At thirty years of age, he decided to find himself.
1. Find yourself.
Yes, don’t annoy the world around you by arriving at your dream without a map–especially absent the GPS to your own soul.
Jesus went into the wilderness, he dealt with his appetites and emerged with the correct meshing of awareness and humility. Once he discovered himself, he went out to:
2. Find some friends.
It’s usually more a mutual discovery. When you clarify your position and you’re transparent, other humans who share your convictions stumble upon you.
Sometimes we try to make relationships work. Truthfully, if they don’t, they don’t. You can have a thousand conversations and never arrive at a point of agreement.
Embracing some friends led to the next step:
3. Find your place to start.
In the case of Jesus, since he had a message, his instinct might have been to preach or teach. He wanted to lead people to a greater understanding of themselves as children of God.
Jesus knew his goals. He aspired to share a manifesto which was simple to follow.
So Jesus went to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It was the next thing on his calendar and it was his way of expressing that those who pursued him should welcome a celebration instead of a series of seminars.
Find your place to start.
And at this point in his ministry, five disciples came along to enjoy the festivities.
Almost immediately, Jesus was in a position where, like all of us, he needed to:
4. Find your calling.
This may surprise you, but Jesus was immediately cornered by a family member. His mother.
She felt it was her obligation to steer him in the right direction. After all, she was his mama, right?
So when she heard they had run out of wine at the wedding, she came to Jesus, explained the predicament–but also prodded him to use the occasion to manifest his workings.
At this point, Jesus chose his calling over his mother. Although he loved her, probably for the first time in his life, he referred to her as “woman.” Not “mother.” Not “my dear.”
He said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”
In that moment, he established an adult relationship, letting her know that they would now be walking the Earth as peers, not as “Mother Mary and little Jesus.”
If you can’t break away from your family obligation enough to find your calling, you will use those binding responsibilities to excuse your lack of activity.
5. Find your time.
That’s what Jesus said to Mary. I’m looking for the right time for me. Not your right time. Not my disciples’ right time. The time that’s right for me to do what I believe I’m supposed to do.
After considering this, Jesus did the bidding of his heart.
6. Do what you do.
He had the servants fill up the ceremonial clay pots with water. Hours earlier the water within those pots had been used to cleanse dirty feet, but Jesus asked that they be put to work again. Once they were filled, the contents of the vessels should be drawn off and taken to the master of ceremonies.
Speaking of that, all of this process grants us the privilege to:
7. Do it with flair.
People weren’t turning water into wine. They certainly were not using foot-washing pots to do it. The most common phrase uttered by those who had an encounter with Jesus was, “Wow. We’ve never seen it like this before.”
Don’t expect to make a difference if you aren’t different.
If you plan on following the common grid, filling in the blanks faithfully, you will also find yourself standing in line your whole life, with no distinguishing gifts.
Jesus took a wedding feast to establish the fact that he had found himself, acquired friends, had picked the place to start, and was ready to walk away from family obligations to pursue his calling. He had selected this time to do what he was able to do, and he performed it with flair.
This was not only the first public miracle of Jesus–this was his coming out party.