I always wondered why Jesus became a carpenter. I’ve wondered even more why he STAYED a carpenter for 30 years and only preached publicly for 3 years.
Scholars might say it’s because it was a common profession in his area at the time, or that it was because sons took on the profession of their fathers’ since his foster father St. Joseph was a carpenter, or that it was a lowly profession, and he chose to humble himself. It might be a combination of all three, however I believe as God, he deliberately chose that profession for more reasons than the obvious. He seriously could have been anything or anyone he wanted to be but he chose carpentry. Why? Carpentry is a creative art to be sure.
I’ve often wondered of all the things that might have happened in that wood shop and all the richness that was created there. The type of furniture he maybe made for his friends and family, the tools he made for other carpenters or students he taught, or perhaps he carved wooden sculptures that told a story. He probably was so advanced in skill that he blew others away with his inventiveness. Perhaps he just liked working with the oldest “living” thing he ever created, wood, the substance he was laid down in when he was born and which he died on. The more I think of it, I believe he fashioned the very wood that was used for the cross he was crucified on. Yes, I think there is a great significance why he worked with wood. He is often referred to as the vine and roots and we are the branches. Whatever he did, it must of taken a lot of patience. There’s something beautiful to take away from all this.
For anyone who ever believed that they have a special destiny in life to accomplish, this is especially for you. Sometimes God makes you wait. That is not to say that waiting has to be boring, anxious or unfulfilling. Waiting should be a time of preparing. A time to prepare and fashion our mind, heart and character for the work ahead of us. Jesus or course, didn’t need that, however I think he was setting an example on how we should prepare ourselves for life and that we should value our incubation periods. We need patience with ourselves and with what we build. Sometimes, our preparation periods are a time when we need to take down and cut out the negative, useless things in our lives so we can build something solid. A painful process, but a beautiful outcome.
In those 30 obscure years, he carved wood before he started his mission to carve us up for redemption. I believe he wants us to ponder his humble years in the wood shop and imagine ourselves there with him, only we wouldn’t be wood working, he would actually be training and preparing us for the work he prepared specifically for us. Most people don’t value this time with God. I certainly didn’t for many years. Sadly, I never contemplated his human nature enough, but as I write this, I’m 33 years old, the same age he was when he was condemned to death. That puts some things in perspective. Just the other day I was thinking, “Wow. He was really young. Why would anyone over 40 listen to this young carpenter who never traveled more than 200 miles away from where he was born and spent most of that time cutting wood? He must of been DYING to go out and bring glory to the Father and blow people away!”
He sure did. And he infuriated many people too. And this is why I think we have a longer, more thorough preparing stage vs. the short-lived, destiny-thriving stage. God wants to work through you in a glorious way. But it will make others angry. Anytime you work with the gifts he gave you and glorify him, there will be those who appreciate your gifts and there will be those who, for whatever reason, despise you for it. You need that preparation with God to make you strong and to help you deal with the opposition ahead. Your gifts are for others, but your training stage is for you. If we realized that, we would appreciate our time in the “shop” with him and take advantage of it much more. We would realize that instead of being unfair and making us wait, he is actually partnering with us to make us the best version of ourselves so that when we finally do go out and thrive in our gifts, we will give glory to God rather than ourselves. You wouldn’t want to prepare without him and you definitely wouldn’t want to complete your mission without him by your side either.
Luckily for us, we can always go back to the “shop” if we feel off track and better prepare ourselves for the responsibility he’s given us and to take us on his adventures with him.