Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Is it OK to be Ordinary?

During a discussion with a friend yesterday, she posed this question to herself. As she reflected on her upbringing: to strive for greatness, to be the best, to reach for the top, she wondered about the “ordinary” people she knew who lived very simple lives of faithfulness to God. Wouldn't each of them hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant” at the end of their lives, just like the spiritual giants?

So how does God want me to live in the relatively brief time He has given me on this earth? What is His view of the ordinary?

I know how tempting it can be to get caught up in the lives of those in the headlines and to compare ourselves. I wish I could be like that. My life doesn't feel very significant. God might perform a miracle or do great and mighty things through that person, but not through me. Do I even count in the big picture of what He's doing? Does my pebble make a ripple in the surface of the water or does it simply sink to the bottom without leaving a mark?

I love the way ordinariness is highlighted in the description of Peter and John. When the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law “saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

Just to be with Jesus. That's what made these ordinary men stand out in stark contrast to the learned leaders of high position. Unschooled ordinary people made extraordinary by Who they knew. By the Great One they worshiped.

If we strive for greatness we can easily switch our focus from the One who is truly great, to ourselves...and mistakenly think that we are great.

So I believe that embracing our ordinariness is good and right. Who cares what level of status we reach? How many people remember our names after we're gone? What really matters is did we love well? Were we faithful? Did our ordinary lives point others to the One who is Extraordinary?

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." (Thomas Moore)

I haven't written my own epitaph, and I'm not sure I should. Whatever it is, I hope it will be simple, and that it will point people not to me, but to the One I served.” (Billy Graham)

This is a link to a great video (called A Shining School) about honoring a joy-filled janitor, whose love for his job and for the people he served had an impact on every single life there. I love how this school chose to celebrate the ordinary and to honor what's really important in life.

Let's celebrate our ordinary lives. And let's "just be with Jesus" today.


Linking up with Velvet Ashes on the theme of Small


  1. Thank you for the reminder, Jodie, it is being with Jesus that transforms our ordinary to meaningful and significant.



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