In our quest for extraordinary, we often overlook the importance of the ordinary. This thought was implanted in my head months ago after reading a book by David Platt called "Radical." It just recently came back to the forefront of my mind. When I was a little kid I wanted to be an extraordinary football player and become famous- I wanted to be an extraordinary doctor and find a cure for cancer, and most of all I wanted to be an extraordinary Cowboy and save the "Wild West." As a kid it is good to have dreams and want to be "extraordinary." Those thoughts CAN transition into wanting to "pursue excellence and bear fruit" as an adult, which is what we are called to do as Christians. But now being 22 years old (as of Thursday :] ) and a Christian man I've had to asses my heart's desire to become extraordinary. What's my motivation? Has my quest to be extraordinary transitioned into being Christ centered or self-centered?
Elizabeth Elliot talking about Christ's example points out, "not even dying a martyr's death is classified as extraordinary when you are following a Savior who died on a cross... Suddenly a martyr's death seems like normal obedience."
The goal is not for us as individuals to live extraordinary lives but to join together in communities of faith, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, and following after Him. We will need to show one another how to give liberally, go urgently, and live dangerously. It becomes ordinary to give more when it hurts and love after we've been slandered.
It is hard when we find ourselves surrounded by the lure of temporary pleasure and security. But all of the sudden when we fasten our affections on the One who will never spoil or fade, He will show us that our greatest security is not found in the comforts we can manufacture in this world, but Himself.
"He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose... You and I have an average of about 70 or 80 years on this earth. During these years we are bombarded with the temporary. Make money. Get stuff. Be comfortable. In the middle of it all, we get blinded to the eternal. But it's there. You and I stand on the porch of eternity. Both of us will soon stand before God to give an account for our stewardship of the time, the resources, the gifts, and ultimately the gospel he has entrusted to us. When that day comes, I am convinced we will not wish we had given more of ourselves to living the American Dream. We will not wish we had more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more television, pursued greater retirement, or been more successful in the eyes of this world. Instead we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and deserves eternal worship." (David Platt, Radical)
I'm humbled by His example. "Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips..." I find myself wanting to be extraordinarily ordinary.