What would it be like to live your whole life knowing precisely what your future occupation will be, but then to have to wait decades for it to come about? Six decades, to be specific. And still counting.
Such is the case for Charles, Prince of Wales, who believe it or not is 67 years old. At a time when many people are at or near retirement, Charles waits for what he always believed was his purpose in life: to be king of England. As it happens the current occupant of the throne, Elizabeth II, became the longest-reigning monarch in British history in September and will turn 90 next month. That leaves Charles in an awkward place, and the subject of his share of late-night jokes.
But put yourself in his shoes: what would that be like? In her lengthy 2013 cover story for Time, Catherine Mayer observed, “I found a man not, as caricatured, itching to ascend the throne, but impatient to get as much done as poss.” That last phrase—impatient to get as much done as possible—could describe most of us. We possess an insatiable drive to do. But why? Charles answered that question a decade ago for Esquire magazine, an answer that could speak for us all: “All the time I feel I must justify my existence.”
Is there no other way? Is there any way we can live and work and build relationships free of this burden?
Text: Isaiah 53.10–12
- our attempts to justify ourselves
- the alternative
- God’s delight to justify