At least in my mind...
I'm sure I'm like a lot of people in thinking that ordinary is a negative word. At best it means harmless or average, but even then, it still seems like a bummer of a concept. I mean, who ever says they want to be ordinary? No one I've ever heard. Most of us want to be extraordinary. The best! Famous, top-notch, notable, memorable, set apart, revered! And you don't become those things by being ordinary.
Or do you?
I've talked before about how I'm a type-a striver. I'm a believer that anything worth doing is worth doing well. (And for money, but that's another story for another day). So while I don't have to be the best at everything, I do at least want the chance to excel. But there are so many tasks in life that are necessary, but don't come with the opportunity for glory. Being a corporate cog, raising kids, keeping a clean house...so much of what we have to do each day is ordinary. Sure, we can do those things to the best of our ability, but rarely does everyday life present us with opportunities to be seen as anything really exceptional.
Or is that a lie?
A lie that I've been tricked into believing... Life isn't a competition (nor should it be) but on the other hand- living well is something to take pride in. Or it should be! Somewhere along the line I've convinced myself that if no one is handing out trophies, then my efforts must be going unnoticed.
So what if we took a minute to recognize the value that comes with being "ordinary"? The world needs people that work more than they talk. People who encourage rather than boast. People that support others instead of promoting themselves. Being "ordinary" may not be a negative trait. It can mean that you're willing to put your head down and really get things done- regardless of who's watching. Or that you're humble enough to take a servant's role when the rest of the world is clamoring to be masters.
I'm not sure I want to live my life with one eye on the casket, but I do sometimes think about the legacy I'll leave when I'm gone. Do I want people to wax poetic at my funeral about what an extraordinary hip hop dancer, mommy blogger, Popsicle stick joke teller, or other fill-in-the-blank accomplisher I was? Well...yes. Part of me does want to be remembered as a unique and irreplaceable force of a woman (Dustin- go ahead and jot that down in case I die first. Or feel free to start referring to me that way in all future birthday cards). But the true measure for me? The way I'll know that I "done good"? Will be the ordinary. Did I love often? Did I listen well? Was someone, somewhere just a little bit better off each day because of something I did?
Sure, there's worth in being the best. Having a gift, honing a talent, and showing off a skill with pride. But there's also value in being part of the 99%. An ordinary, run-of-the-mill, neighbor, family member, friend and partner to others. God has given us each unique talents, and it's absolutely in His will that we use them...but for His glory. Not ours. He adores who He has created me to be, but He certainly doesn't need my spectacular design skills, my flawless way with words or my mind-blowing ability to guess what time it is without having seen a clock for hours, to accomplish His divine plan. If I'm lucky (or more accurately- if I'm obedient), He'll allow me be used by Him, and those gifts He's given me will shine...Shine light back to Him. And a little less attention on ME and WHAT I CAN DO might make me seem a bit more ordinary. And I'm learning to be ok with that.
Meg and I would love to have a word with you.
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