You don’t have to spend too much time on the internet before you are inundated with the extraordinary. People who are successful, famous, outstanding, witty, incredibly intelligent and interesting. It can all be a bit intimidating, if you allow it. So many times we are cowed by our own inadequacies:”I can’t possibly compete with that… I’m just an ordinary average person”.
And that is where most of us live, in the ordinary…the daily. We are the cogs in the great machine, none too shiny and often overlooked.
In light of this I was thinking about how I was taught, sometimes preached to, to excel. As if the goal of life was to become a star, even if for only that proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. A highlight that can be brought out and refurbished when proof of my value was required.
But I am not sure I am convinced of the truthfulness, or value, of that view. For one thing, who is held as the epitome of pity more than the washedup has-been or ‘never quite there’ wannabe? And what is all the rest of success? Isn’t it largely a serendipitous mix of the luck of the draw + hard work + sacrifice? And don’t we sometimes pity the consequence of much of that sacrifice once the curtain of the theater has been drawn aside? “Oh. What a puny creature that was, after all.”
Yet many of us, ordinary people with ordinary lives, are content to sit in the audience, and watch the great stage… and forget that we are all raw resources of lives and possibilities.
One of the wonderful things of the good news of Christianity is all the possibilities resident within the ordinary. Miracles of great import are within the very daily and ordinary things of life. Sometimes even found in the discarded and the broken ordinary things of life.
…. but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
In the economy of God, things are not what they seem and it is the creativity of His touch that transforms the very ordinary into something not only extraordinary, but eternally beautiful and valued. What great artist of the ages would not give all for that? That is the ultimate goal of all true art: to make something eternal that speaks to mans soul thourgh the ages, that transcends the temporal decay of this life. That is the ultimate for every truly great and exceptional accomplishment.
I wonder what it takes to get up from ones spectator seat and to seek to work towards the great things… one ordinary day at a time? One daily step that purposes to fulfill ones own private potential regardless of the recognition of others? I wonder what contentment and established end that could attain?
I believe we are under the cloud of false images and illusory methods. We believe lies about ourselves and about others more than we believe the best for us all.
We listen to all the wrong messages for much too long a time. It is time to believe for the best, in ourselves and in our circumstances. To give hope and faith a try…. to stop the endless competitions and comparisons when all they tend to do is tear down someone elses dreams… and destroy our own.
Truth and reality is needed, but where to find the actual standard for truth and reality? Christians have too long looked to the talking heads of this world, the frivolity and the mirrors and magic. We are all too enamored and entertained…thinking ourselves and our abilities “too ordinary”. We have forgotten that we are in the company of the most extraordinary God and Savior.
Perhaps that is where our attention should gravitate this season. To awaken to the greatness and the beauty of finding ones own place and making the most of that. Assessing the actual value of the everday life lived out to its full potential, in its intended relatedness of the whole: of ones family, ones nation, and the Body of Christ.