Title: Itís in His Head
Date: September 17, 2014
When Jesus was twelve — about the age of a middle-schooler for us — he ditched his parents in Jerusalem, missed the caravan ride home — on purpose — and hung around the temple. Thinking he was a responsible pre-teen who would be where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there, his mom and dad did not immediately notice his absence. I can hear Joseph saying, "Hey, Ishmael, hey Sarah, have you seen Jesus?" Pretty soon, everybody must have been looking for him; and pretty soon, they must have realized nobody had seen him since Jerusalem.
Imagining the worst, Mary and Joseph hurried back to the city. Eventually they found him and asked, "Just what do you think you're doing here? Didn't you know how worried and scared we'd be?” Jesus said, "Didn't you know I gotta be in my dad’s house?" In hindsight he sounded like a holy child finding his divine way, but at the time, to his parents, he must have sounded like a mouthy pre-teen.
What makes pre-teens behave irresponsibly? What makes them disrespectful, prone to make emotional judgments, or to misread situations? It is all in their heads — in their brains actually.
Ongoing brain studies using MRI scans show that maturity is a matter of ongoing brain development. Scientists now consider age twenty-five to be the physiological onset of brain maturity, not at age twelve as we once thought.
Let's Pray: Dear God, thanks for our brains, and please give us patience with those less mature, and those more mature, than ourselves. Amen.
Here’s a Thought: Give us patience.
The Adolescent Brain—Why Teenagers Think and Act Differently
[PDF] Teenage Brain: A work in progress
Landmark Imaging Studies Help Explain Teen Brains, Brenda Patoine, The Dana Foundation, 2006, http://www.dana.org/media/detail.aspx?id=7140