ordinary vs. extraordinary

saints, humanitarians, martyrs, healers, preachers, prophets, me, kings, prodigies, celebrities

One of these things is not like the other things.
One of these things just doesn’t belong.
Can you guess which thing is not like the other thing
before I finish my song?


(Just thought I’d flash back to the old “Sesame Street” days)
Well, you probably guessed it by now… it’s me!

Awhile ago, I dove headfirst into a novel by the renowned Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky. The dive was delicious. And, as I followed the main character Prince Myshkin across the Russian countryside, Dostoevsky often contrasted the lives of the ordinary with those of the extraordinary.

He made the point that we simply will not all be extraordinary. We cannot without altering the very definition of the word “extraordinary“. I know – roll it around in your mind a bit.

As Americans, we are really put off by the notion that we will not be extraordinary. It’s some kind of right we fellow Americans think we will always enjoy. Hm.

Well, as I think back on Dostoevsky’s assertions, it doesn’t take long to decide where I fit in. I wake up each morning and so far nothing in my life has set me apart in a way that will show up in history books. Believe it or not, no one is knocking down my door to ask to publish the words on this blog or hidden in my journals. Each day, I wake up and go about the life of breakfast and teeth-brushing and penciling lesson plans and struggling through parent conferences in Spanish.

All these things and nothing to distinguish me against millions and millions of others doing similar, seemingly insignificant tasks.

Could we make the argument that we are extraordinary as Christians? Sure. I’m sure someone will.

But, I really believe that after Adam and Eve sinned, their daily toil would really not make a catchy headline. Day-to-day life normally isn’t.

I am also encouraged by the people between the lines of history. Those people that didn’t make it into the pages of the Bible, save for a few lines where they were found in a crowd or village. Those people – they are ordinary.

I’m an ordinary soldier – an ordinary sojourner – who is learning to be satisfied with the gift of ordinary days. Our service to the Holy King makes Him no more or less great… for He is the extraordinary One and dependent on nothing.

I’m just purposing to do ‘ordinary’ excellently.

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