Friday, November 6, 2015

Tired of Being “Ordinary”?

It’s no news that we live in a culture of individualism. That in itself is hard on community, but it also gives rise to the personality cult. No longer are we satisfied with good leaders; they must be charismatic individuals that we adore and keep us entranced by their charm.

There’s nothing wrong with attractiveness unless it replaces honesty and integrity. It’s too easy to fall for some pleasant affability at the expense of genuine compassion that must undergird any appealing facade. Leadership without concern for others leads to the superficiality that plagues our current culture.

Just as damaging, it leads to an undervaluing of lesser mortals, namely, most of us, who are easily clumped into the “ordinary” peasantry, and whose influence is considered negligible, let alone worthy of leadership.

So, am I an “ordinary” mother or father? Do I hold down an “ordinary” job, or lead an “ordinary” life?
The answer is a resounding “NO.”

I’ve placed the word “ordinary” in quotes because that person, including you and me, does not exist. We are all extraordinary, (extra-ordinary, if that’s not an oxymoron), if only because God created each one of us unique.

We do not attain lasting influence by our outgoing character, striking looks, well informed intellect, achievements, or fame. It is by being compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, forgiving and just; expressing eternal values that reflect the image of God given to all of us.

I frequently note an older, seeming insignificant person, or worker holding down a menial task, and realize they have those simple qualities that make them the greatest in the kingdom of God. Their influence, however small, will last a lifetime and beyond, immeasurably longer than any alluring charm.

Recognizing this, I am constantly encouraged, and I pray you are too, by the fact that we can be heroes of the faith, simply by fulfilling whatever God has called us to, however trivial, mundane, or basic it may seem. Does this mean we can join with Abraham, Moses, Calvin, or Billy Graham in the Great Hall of Faith?

This answer is a ringing “YES,” for “whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4.

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