How many of us live our existence is relative obscurity? We have our friends and family but we don't have something infamous or famous and yet what great significance we have.
This theme first occurred to me last week when a memorial video was played of missionaries who have died in the last year who were with my missions organization. All of them were quite old and had fought the good fight and won the race. It made me sad because I thought of grandma who passed in the last year. Some part of me hurt because no one would show a slide show about her month later. Yet, a voice cried out in my mind because I remember and celebrate her, it is okay. She may have lived an obscure life but it was important in its unique way.
The next day there was a lecture by Alicia Britt Chole. She had a very challenging idea that I had not heard presented before in Christian circles. She noted, very eloquently, that nearly of of Christ's existence was hidden. He had this moment of bursting on the scene as an infant, an appearance at the temple, a brief fleeing as a toddler. Next we see him in the temple as a youth and then not again until he is 30 years old. Most of this time is hidden from us. Her challenge was that he became the person he needed to be for his ministry years in that obscurity. It was not "wasted" as we might think of it from a purely public relations, marketing perspective. It was development.
So the third thing this week that made me think of obscurity was receiving my alumni news magazine from my college. It used to make me think dreadful thoughts about how little I've done with my life, but this time I thought differently as I read the accolades of fellow alum. I searched it in a selfish way wondering who might be a connection to someone who would support our missions work or who of these people might be compelled also by our goals. But I also realized that we all send in our current status in an attempt to pull out of our obscurity for a moment. To shine out in the crowd. I too do these things, but for some reason all these things this week have made me realize there is no shame in obscurity. No waste in our quiet bits of life that don't appear on lots of radar screens. Perhaps there is something of treasure there if we know how to look.