Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Labels (01/05/04)
TITLE: A LABELED LIFE
By Angie Ragg
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He was born into an ordinary family. His father, a common craftsman working at the local carpenters shop, his mother tending to the duties of home and family. They were the “simpletons” of the community. Humble, quiet, hard-working and thankful. They could not afford all the fancy things of many people around them, but were always grateful for their place in life. Mostly, they wanted to serve God, and knew their son was a gift they could give the world. They would sacrifice all to raise him for God. They had no idea how their sacrifice would change mankind forever.
As the boy grew, he did not seem concerned with the concerns of other children. He did not play the mindless games of other children his age. He was a fast learner and never complained. Never rebellious and never wanting his own way. When he was an adolescent, his parents realized his wisdom was far beyond his years. Soon, others in the community would learn of the same thing. But not yet. He seemed to carry the label “simpleton,” just as the locals had spoken of his family, yet there was something about this boy that was not simple.
As he matured from adolescent to adult, he became quite a good craftsman like his father. Yet, he knew his calling in life was more than a carpenter. At the beginning of his 30th year of life, his calling became very clear to him. He spoke of it once during worship at the temple and the people threw him out. The very people who watched him grow up. They could not believe what he was saying. “The nerve of this simpleton. He’s just the son of a carpenter! He claims that he is the Messiah! Our deliverer, our savior!” He was forced to leave the town where he was brought up. The passion for God in him was the force that caused him to leave. He would speak to any crowd that would listen. His parents were proud of his dedication to God, but did not really understand the depth of his devotion.
He spoke with authority, ability, weight and power. His following grew quickly. He chose twelve men to accompany him on his quest. Over the next three years, these men experienced miracles and learned that this “simpleton” was the single most significant life ever lived on this earth. He never seemed to be moved by his popularity or his power. These men watched as he healed the blind with one word, calm the sea with the one hand and bring life to a dead child with one touch. Many of these miracles were misunderstood until his final act of love.
In the end, this “simpleton” gave his life in order that many may live. He was labeled many things in this world: a simpleton, a fool, a liar. Just ask the men he came to save what they think. They will all tell you what He is: a king, a savior, a friend. His life proved what he really is: a simpleton on earth, but the living King over all creation.
In the end, the only label that really matters is what Our Father in heaven says about you. You may have heard people say things about you that you believe in your heart, but they have no truth in them. They tell you things that make you feel humble or full of pride, ugly or beautiful, smart or foolish and strong or weak. So what does it matter how they label you? Isn’t it God’s approval we are trying to attain, anyway?
A. Ragg ©2004