Exceptional in the Ordinary
Susannah Wesley once said, “I am content to fill a little space, if God be glorified.” Admittedly, I find this concept a tough pill to swallow at times. Being a lover of adventure stories ever since I was a little girl, I am always drawn to the epic drama, the exciting climax, the raging battle where the hero strides onto the scene in the nick of time and saves the day.
I smile to myself as I look back on my first naïve thoughts of what it was to be married into a minister’s family…I think I somehow imagined it would be a little more like David slaying the mighty giant Goliath or Amy Carmichael saving the hundreds of Indian children. Whatever I was a part of for God, I wanted it to be big, dramatic, epic.
Fast forward the clock a few years and there I was in my kitchen, surrounded by babies, dirty diapers, spit up, and piles of laundry…how was this the dramatic and daring work for the Lord that I had envisioned?
The truth is, we all tend to think that we must do big things for God. That somehow the simple things just don’t count. But that’s not how life works. Very few times will we face a crisis of epic proportion…life is lived out in the “little moments”, the simple, mundane tasks of everyday. I had not been called by God to slay the giant, I had been called, rather, to be a wife and a mommy…to bandage scraped knees, sing lullabies, answer every “why” question for the hundredth time—and to do it all with the attitude of Christ my Savior. I was called to lay aside my rights and desires for the sake of others, and all for the purpose of displaying to them the love of One far greater than me who laid aside everything to save me.
We have ALL been called to such a task, whether we are mommies and daddies, business men and women, doctors and teachers. We are called to display Christ in the little moments, wherever we are, with whatever we have. Our chief aim is not to be a superhero, but to glorify the One who created us and redeemed us—and He gets to be the One to say how and where that is…not us.
We are engaged in a daily battle—just not the one I originally pictured. We battle everyday against our own deceitful heart that would lead us astray were it not for the grace of God. We must fight to be kind when those around us are cruel, to be honest in a world full of lies, to be faithful when at times it would just be so easy to fall away.
I think Oswald Chambers put it best when he said, “It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God: but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets among mean people, and that is not learned in five minutes.”
“…but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” Titus 2:10