Thanks, Joseph

117px-El_Greco_-_St_Joseph_and_the_Christ_Child_-_WGA10536Joseph was an extraordinary ordinary Joe.

I’ve been thinking about him a lot this week as the year was winding down and I have drifted into new stages in life. Like Joseph, I’m a husband and father, although serving a comparatively minor role in the story of the human race.

Of course, the Joseph I’ve been thinking about is the husband of Mary, Mother of God.  Joseph doesn’t get many lines in the Bible, although he played a pivotal role in protect Mary and Jesus and forming the human part of Christ.  He accepted an expectant virgin as his wife and fled with her to a distant land when warned by an angel in a dream.

Pretty big stuff for a small-town carpenter, just an ordinary Joe.  But a saint.

And that’s why I’ve been thinking about him as I face the many challenges in my life:  wife and kids, aging parent, job, house with deferred maintenance, car need repairs and the acceptance that in my seventh decade the knees are a little weaker, the back a little sorer and I’ll finally have to let go of my dreams of playing in the NBA or fronting for a rock band.

Joseph reminds me what is important.  He never did anything notable by the standards of the world.  He just cared for his family and lived a hard-working life.  And 2,000 years later he is an inspiration to men around the world.

Maybe if I keep focused on the really important things in life I’ll be able to walk in his shadow.

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