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“On Being Ordinary”

That which is closer to the truth in God’s Kingdom is that contrary to the culture, ordinariness of being is His standard.  The superior things that transpire in  God’s Kingdom, however, are because God alone is superior and He does superior things, not because His servants are superior.  Paul highlights this reality in 2 Corinthains 4:7 where he says that “we have this treasure (of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus) in  jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  It is this balance of the Superior and Awesome God living through weak, ordinary and frail earthlings that is the Kingdom’s modus operandi.  But when we strive to be superior and do the superior thing in our own power, we are then of the culture and not of the Kingdom.

To be an ordinary and common person then is to be weak, to be limited, to be sinful, to be needy, and to be wounded because these traits belong to every human being.  And when measured by these elements every human being is judged ordinary.  An ordinary human being is sinful and sins and cannot cease sinning, even if he or she learns the very core secrets of the Christian life.  A human being is ordinary because she cannot learn everything, do everything, be everything and go everywhere.  Every human being is weak and has weaknesses.  Even an Arnold Schwarzenegger needed open heart surgery.

 

Ordinary

Our American culture is saturated with the propagand that to be number 1 is to be the only one.  In our country number two does not exist as valuable.  Few can remember who played the world series champion last year, or who the Heat beat in their first NBA championship, or who was the Van Cliburn runnerup the last time the championship was held in Fort Worth, Texas.  Most of us remember many of the past Presidents of the United States, but few of us remember the Vice Presidents.  Number two doesn’t count; number one does.

The message is clear from the propaganda. Be superior because everything else is a failure.  That message carries over in the church as well so that only the highest gifts are pursued, the one who memorizes the most scripture is lionized, the one who attends the most conferences, is moved to shake by the Holy Spirit, who has the most information and who has the most spiritual look on his face is valuable, and those in leadership dare us to be a Daniel or a Moses or a Paul.  The superior, the extraordinary, the spectacular, the unusual, the special and the outstanding are applauded.  All else seems to be ignored.  The ordinary does not matter. And none of us is ever challenged to obscure, common and simple.

Be blessed today,

John