The Gift of Ordinary Things

When I was young I read books that made missionary life look sexy. I read spiritual biographies of well-known Christian martyrs which made them seem six inches taller and without body odor. Like popular kids at school, these saints inhabited my dreams and haunted my ambitions. I affected their manner of speech and read books about exotic countries where I would heroically lay down my life for Christ. I would do it all for Jesus, I thought, without fanfare or applause. Secretly, I hoped that someone might write a book about my extraordinary life.

gift_of_ordinary_thingsNow, as I look at my surroundings, past the piles of unfolded laundry on the floor, the Cheerios crunching underfoot, and the screen door lying on its side against the house, I wonder if I missed something. Wouldn’t I be holier if I lived in a jungle somewhere? If I were a missionary, could I grow six inches taller and stop using Old Spice?

The grass can seem so much greener in the pages of a well-written story, edited for length and with anecdotes selected for their impact.

What I didn’t realize as a young man was that the people who wrote and lived those stories were no different from me. They failed and farted and probably had a few salacious stories that never made the final edit. They were ordinary people doing extraordinary things, made to look slimmer and shinier because we all want heroes.

Look around at your life. At the ordinariness. The messiness. The calendar chock-full of mundane activities. The gray line around the tub. It is here–here!–where Christ meets you. Your family–not someone else’s–is the place of your refinement. Your life–not someone else’s–is your place of blessing. And your home–not some far-off jungle–is where God walks with you each day.

Today is a great day to be you. With God’s help, make the most of it.

2 comments on “The Gift of Ordinary Things

  1. Encouraging word. Have to say that even though your posts have become few and far between, that I probably refer more people to your blog than any of the others I read.

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