By: Rev. Chris Troxel, Associate Pastor of Christian Growth
You see it in sports all the time. An exceptional, extraordinary player comes and redefines how the game is played. Many strive to be like said exceptional player; some come close. In imitating the exceptional we typically lose the dedication to, and progress in fundamentals. The fundamentals, the basics, the non-schnazzy, plain old boring way of doing things is also what usually produces fruit. And ultimately when you break down that exceptional performance, that player performs the basics with an uncommon degree of precision and depth.
Being around other believers can be intimidating. It can seem like other people have so much of this life and faith already figured out. We tell ourselves that it would be easier to just give up and let them be awesome. It would be better if I didn’t even try. When we compare ourselves in faith to others, everybody loses. In the presence of the extraordinary, we become embarrassed of our ordinary...when we look at ourselves.
Jesus died and rose to set us free from sin, including the trap of comparison. He ends the comparison, that we will never be enough, and reveals that He is enough, He is always enough. From that grace, in faith, it is our ordinary that is the best work at loving God and loving those around us. Doing the work of parent or spouse or sibling or neighbor or worker, doing these everyday tasks is what honors God. We’re also typically doing many of these roles all at once! We may have opportunities throughout our lives to do the exceptional, and those moments may be celebrated. Yet it’s the seemingly small actions that no one else sees or celebrates that can make the most impact. It’s the daily grace you have with your kids that shows them the love of God. It’s the patience you have with your neighbor each week that demonstrates the love of Jesus alive in you. Its the faithfulness and diligence you bring to your work that reveals how God’s love is changing you.
Sometimes the extraordinary is overrated. Following Jesus does not mean you have to consistently conduct extraordinary efforts. As Jesus calls us to follow, he not only sets us free from sin, he calls to do ordinary things. Pray. Read. Live at peace with those around you. Not dynamic, is it? It is faithful; it is loving. In the ordinary, the exceptional extraordinary love of Jesus is at work in you.