Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Ordinary Life

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
- Tim Kizziar

Francis Chan quoted this in his book, Crazy Love. I thought about it as I shifted laundry, dictated paragraphs, loaded the dishwasher, swept the floor.

After reading biographies like these from our homeschool curriculum, the boys and I inflame with desire to make our lives matter


George Washington Carver and William Wilberforce are both famous because during slavery, and after, it took courageous, tenacious people to move our world forward. Fame never mattered to these men. Just justice and freedom for all--freedom from slavery, and then from poverty--so that everyone could have the opportunity to lead an ordinary life.

I don't know why some are chosen for greatness, and some for the ordinary, but I'm awfully thankful for the opportunity to be ordinary. Throughout history, it wasn't always this way; it wasn't always this easy to get up in the morning and live.

War and disease ravaged lives. Injustice pierced the heart here at home, not just abroad.

I am safe, well-fed, with shelter over my head and people around who love me and need me.

Sometimes I wonder if circumstance doesn't make an ordinary person great? Would these two men be in our history books if not for slavery? Or would Harriet Tubman, another giant? Are role models few now because life is too easy, stateside?

Most of my current role models do their work in the third world, like Katie living in Uganda, parenting 13 orphaned girls as her own and starting the Amazima ministry--all before the age of 22.  She went to Uganda as a teen hoping to enjoy a summer in ministry, and she never left.

And like Maureen, who runs a Kenyan non-profit for orphaned, abused, pregnant girls, and like Kristen, who founded the ministry and handles the planning and business part, stateside.

I am ordinary. Maybe you are too.

But God.

He has plans for our hearts...and the plans are anything but ordinary. When we truly follow him, trusting tomorrow to Him, the path is life-changing and bold. Even great.

Maybe it takes God, not history, to transform an ordinary person? 

Do ordinary people maintain the status quo? They go to church and put a twenty in the plate each week, making meals when someone has a baby or a surgery? But they stay in the driver seat of life, not giving Him the key? 

No person in history is as great as Jesus Christ, our Lord. Our God.

To live a great life, a radical life, we only have to do one thing

Wake up every morning and say to the Almighty Living God, the creator and author of the universe, "What will it be today, God?"

Before we can say this and mean it, we have to decrease so He can increase. That's become cliche, I know, but is there a better way to say it? 

Lay down your life

Give up what you want.

Give up your image--your desire to look good to others, either physically or through your deeds. Be willing to forgo that image for something humbler. The more you look like the next American woman, with her salon-manicured nails, her hundred-dollar hair job, her SUV, her spa membership and her busy schedule, the less you look like a Christ follower.

Don't be like everyone else. Everyone else is chasing the ordinary, and they don't even know it. 

Everyone loves themselves, and that's part of being ordinary: to love yourself more than you love God.

To live greatly, radically, we need heart change. We can raise a family, love and serve for the rest of our lives, and appear ordinary to the outside world. The Lord evaluates our life not on our accomplishments, but on how much heart change there's been

The giants I began with, George Washington Carver and William Wilberforce? 

They loved Him radically. They loved his Word. No, not from the beginning, but they trusted him and let their hearts be changed. As the Lord worked, their hearts fell more in love with Him and their lives reflected Him more. 

As I read, it struck me. These giants were really just shrimps. They bowed down to a great God. They bowed low

The Lord shined, not these men.

On my gravestone and on yours, let that be said of us. That we were just shrimps.

Writing about radical with Ann and friends.


Anonymous said...

I am thankful to be ordinary in this life. God loves the ordinary as much as the extraordinary. It allows me to pray with fervor about my word for the year, "better".

Christine said...

Nice to meet you, V. Thank you for visiting today. Clicking over to visit you now...

Tesha said...

Love being ordinary:) By the way Christine I think your writing and perspective is EXTRAORDINARY!