For most of my life, I have struggled with feeling like I am about two steps behind everyone else. When my friends were having their summer break, I was still doing school. When other people were eating dinner, I was eating a late lunch. When all my peers were driving, I still hadn't gotten my quota of practice hours in yet.
I know I'm not alone in this. This Christmas season especially has everyone freaking out, running late, feeling like the calendar is looming over their heads with a blinking red light on the 25th.
I have even felt that I must have been born in the wrong time, or that God must have made a mistake when He chose the year for me to start my life. Not that I actually believe this, but there are places in my heart where I feel that I could be more effective if I were older, wiser, etc.
Several years ago I read a book that went more in depth on the life of Christ. There were many neat things that stood out to me, but there was one fact that still continues to amaze me to this day.
Jesus was born at the beginning of the Roman Empire.
Why is this important? The Roman Empire is known for two things (1) its powerful military that allowed it to conquer most of the known world, creating one of the largest empires in history (2) Rome was known for its architectural masterpieces such as paved roads, which connected the empire and revolutionized travel in the ancient world.
Jesus was born at the beginning of the most internationally connected era in ancient history. By the time he was a grown man, Rome had only increased in power. By the time the early Church began, Rome was very strong and very connected, which enabled the spread of the gospel to happen with incredible speed.
Let that sink in for a bit. What if Jesus had been born a few hundred years before? He might not have had to deal with those rude Romans, but practically speaking, the impact of the gospel would have taken longer to go into effect.
What if Jesus had been born a few hundred years later, during the Dark Ages? Growth was nigh stunted in some parts of the world for centuries, due to the chaos and disconnected nature of the Dark Ages. Instability reigned supreme for hundreds of years, and it wasn't until the Renaissance that life and progress really began to happen on a more international scale. If the gospel hadn't already been spread and taken root across the world before that era, who knows what would have happened?
Maybe it is because I am a total history nerd that I find this concept so amazing. But I don't think that is the whole of it. What really amazes me about this fact, is that it shows me yet again that God has a plan. He has a grand timeline of history, He knows all things that were, that are, and that have yet to be.
He knows when to make things happen in the right time for the right outcome.
When I was little, I used to wish that I had been born in the American pioneer days. I was obsessed with cowboys and covered wagons. The idea of crossing vast prairies to begin a new life in the mysterious west was utterly thrilling and romantic to me.
That was a childish daydream. But as time has gone on, I have often wished I was somewhere else than where I currently was, or am at the moment. And then one day, it hit me.
I was born at the beginning of the Internet Empire.
Being a child of the nineties, I am a member of that unique generation who are just old enough to remember the pre-cell phone/email/worldwideweb age; but we are also the generation of children/teens who were growing up when that great divide was crossed. And the world is forever changed because of it.
I live in the most connected time in all of history. Within seconds, I could reach millions of people across the globe in spite of time, distance, language barriers, experience, and different background. None of these factors are major hindrances to me.
What an incredible thing it is to be alive right now. What an incredible opportunity I have to make an impact on the world. One of the greatest fears I have had in my life is that I won't make a difference in the world. But when I stop and think about the few pieces of God's master plan that I have glimpsed, my fears are soothed.
God knows what He is doing. He sent Jesus at the exact right moment in history so that His Church would be born most effectively.
I'm not Jesus, but God has given me a role to play in the timeline of His-Story. Everything, from the year I was born to how long it took me to get my driver's license are all a part of His plan for me.
I'm not running late, and I'm not too early. I am right on time.
Want to read about the previous Truths of Christmas? Catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.