“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel in an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” By William Martin
Sometimes we dismiss the ordinary of life as being just that…ordinary. But the ordinary makes up the most of our days. Our days can seem to run right into each other, often becoming a repeat of the one before with a little drama mixed in to let us know that yes this is a new day.
We can see ourselves as ordinary. We clean our houses, we feel like we cook the same meals each week, we do laundry, dishes, and necessary but not so fun jobs. And they never end. We drive kids to things and from things. We volunteer, we give to those in need, we do our job that we get paid for and oftentimes our work goes unnoticed. Or we forget the impact that we do make.
And we can soon think of ourselves as ordinary, at least in the world’s definition.
There is nothing wrong with ordinary, as defined by God. We are made in the image of the Creator of the Universe, in the image of our great God, and our savior Jesus had the same body, same emotions, same feelings, same everything as us. And if that’s ordinary, then I’m all in!
Our lives may feel ordinary and we wish things were different. They may be routine, and routine can get us in a rut, but there is nothing wrong with ordinary.
In our culture ordinary has become a dirty word. According to the media we are supposed to have these super exciting lives filled with tons of friends and lots of laughs, all of us going out every night after we worked at our uber exciting jobs, and we are to use our smart phones to record every moment of our extraordinary lives.
But life is not like that, and for those who do it, great, but they are missing out if they have to be entertained all the time and take “selfies” to prove how exciting their lives really are.
Life is full of the wonders of the ordinary. The sun comes up every morning and sets every evening and people who don’t recognize how beautiful, how creative, how necessary, how life giving, how powerful, how miraculous that ordinary process is are missing out on God’s workmanship, his masterpiece, his canvas, his power, his life.
Stars glow, birds chirp, waves crash, grass grows, flowers bloom, bees pollinate, butterflies flutter, rain falls, leaves change, babies are born, children grow, people die, and life goes on. And all of this “ordinary” is nothing short of miraculous…if you dare to see it that way.
Our ordinary life can be extraordinary when we allow God to use us right where we are to show the people around us His love, His forgiveness, His grace, His freedom, His abundance, His glory.
When Jesus meets our ordinary something extra happens. We are changed from the inside out. We shine like the stars, we light up a room, we bloom where we are planted, we fragrant the earth. We become the steady, reliable, miraculous ordinary that many depend on.
When we embrace God’s plan for our lives – however ordinary they may seem to us – we bring God’s extraordinary kingdom down to this ordinary earth and people are changed.
Bring God into your ordinary and ask Him to open your eyes to the wonders all around you, and inside of you. Look around at what God has blessed you with – the everyday things we take for granted.
And then place your beautifully “ordinary” life into the hands of our extraordinary God and see what He does through you.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work and walk-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can for him. 2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)