Even if you don’t believe anything about Christmas, you have to admit it’s a pretty amazing story. I’m not talking about the whole “born in a manger” thing or that little “murder all the children” bit that puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. Nope, let’s back up a bit and talk about what happened before all that hullabaloo. The prologue, the intro, the pages that can be pretty tempting to skip over when you’re looking for “the Christmas story.”
Enter Mary, who’s 14 or 15 years old. Same age as Hermione when the Goblet of Fire came to town. That’s right, if cars existed in 4 BC, Mary wouldn’t even have been able to drive one. This is to say she was pretty young. Great, got it.
Enter an angel, who tells Mary she’s going to conceive a son despite her virginity. Doesn’t matter how she finds this out, what matters is that she does find out, and this ain’t no joke. Let’s break this down a bit.
First, Mary’s pregnant. Sure, lifespans were shorter back then, yadda yadda yadda. At the end of the day, Mary’s 14 and pregnant. That puts her at less than the median age of the mothers featured on the show that taught everyone about motherhood and maturity. Scary? You bet. Does Mary have any idea how to raise a kid? Probably not. I mean, why would she? It’s not like raising a child was anywhere near her radar.
Second, Mary’s a virgin. Yeah, because that makes sense. At this point, Mary has license to be freaking out.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mary’s told that she’s going to be the mother of one of the most important people in the history of the world. Doesn’t matter what you believe, it’s pretty hard to deny that Mary’s son is going to affect the lives of billions of people over the course of thousands of years. We’re not dealing with a spelling bee champ or little league all star here, we’re talking about a guy who pretty consistently lands near the top of people’s “most famous people ever” lists. Pressure much? You betcha.
Okay, back to the story. So Mary finds all this out, and probably needs some time to process things. You know, sleep on the prospect of raising a major historical figure as a result of a phantasmagorical miracle.
In less time than it takes Ryan Seacrest to reveal the winner of American Idol, Mary agrees without any objections whatsoever. “Hold up,” you think to yourself. “Maybe the writers of this thing just didn’t want to waste time on boring details.” Oh sure, the book brought to you by the same people to trace the entire genealogy of Jesus (ahem, twice) is interested in being concise. Seems a bit more likely that Mary just did something pretty incredible.
Mary was presented with both the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. It’s pretty clear that the easy way out would have been to say no. At the time, many people probably would have said that backing out would have been the more reasonable thing to do. But, Mary didn’t. Instead, she ventured headstrong directly into the unknown without thinking twice about it. Maybe she didn’t fully understand what was happening or why, but it doesn’t matter*. Mary said “yes.” (Technically, “fiat.”) That’s crazy awesome.
Takeaway time. I think the story kinda speaks for itself: we need to say “yes” more. Last semester of college means it’s the last chance for a whole lot of things (which include challenges, I’m sure). Of course, it’s not like that won’t be true for life in general, but the last of anything only comes once. So, looks like I need to follow Mary’s example by seizing crazy opportunities and taking risks. Easier said than done, but taking the easy way out is obviously… easy, but if that’s all life were, it wouldn’t be much fun.
* That being said, I don’t think the Mother of God was a derp.