It is easy to get discouraged —to feel like nothing you are currently doing is really contributing to the world at large. Such feelings of unrecognition ring especially true of those who have worked hard but have little to show for it. Artists, scientists, kings and queens —all have lived lives of significant value only to be rewarded for their accomplishments long after their time on earth.
If you happen to find yourself in such a slump, take courage in knowing that you are not alone. Countless struggle under the weight of their own perceived insignificance, and it is because of this issue that Alicia Britt Chole sought inspiration for her book, “Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years… and Yours.”
Much like the title implies, these times can often be more ambiguous than anything else. The author refers to such seasons as “hidden years” and compares the seemingly insignificant moments of our lives to the unrecorded years of Jesus. Chole admits there is only so much to say about a topic so inaccessible. She contends,
“Only three years, less than ten percent, of Jesus’s days are visible through the writings of the Bible. Over 90 percent of his earthly life is submerged in the unseen.”
Given this information, the writer poses the appropriate question, how can believers call themselves faithful without first examining the other 90 percent which came to define Jesus’s life? In answer, Chole takes the liberty to examine the Lord’s most visible years. She writes about Christ’s birth and death all in hope to shed light on the unrecorded moments in between. This method, though backwards in the minds of some, is actually quite effective in terms of probing the scriptures.
Among the passages the author chooses to discuss, are the three instances of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Chole uses each of Jesus’ initial reactions to establish a framework for Christ’s hidden years. She explores how his carefully crafted responses reveal unique discipline and submission that can only be formed during times of hiddenness. It is here that the reader gains insight on the undocumented moments of Jesus’ life. And it is here that the reader also finds appreciation for their own hidden years.
With the help of Chole’s book, work that goes unpraised and unrewarded suddenly becomes meaningful. It is because of these skills, cultivated during times of hiddenness, that success and satisfaction can often be found later in life. If you are at all serious about your relationship with Christ or your future as a hard-working individual, I urge you to take the time to check out Alicia Chole’s thought-provoking novel. Though certainly no substitute for the Bible, “Anonymous” establishes a solid foundation for those looking to know their Savior on a more personal level. It also provides practical steps for readers to develop their future based on where they are at and what they are currently doing. So, if you are up for the challenge, and the reward it may bring you, join Chole as she embraces anonymity and the influence of Jesus’ past, our present, and the compelling future that awaits us all.
Originally published on the Greenville University Papyrus.