Monday, October 27, 2014

The Power of Being Ordinary

Photo by Bethany Buchanan
By most accounts, I'm nobody special. 

With the exception of some people reading this post (and a few others), nobody really knows about me. I can walk through crowded airports without being noticed and go to the store without being mobbed for autographs. (Although occasionally random men hit on me in the coffee aisle. But that's another story.) I'm not a household name or a well-respected expert on much of anything. I'm never invited onto syndicated talk shows. Reporters don't call me for sound bites. 

In other words, I'm just a regular person. 

Ordinary.

Maybe you are too.

If so, be glad! There's power in being ordinary.

The Power of Being Ordinary:

You have great freedom. 

Because you're relatively unknown, you can come and go as you like, with no one tracking your movements (except possibly your children, who always wait until you're in the bathroom to incite domestic chaos). No one comments in minute detail about every wardrobe choice you've ever made or what you've chosen to eat. 

Your anonymity is a shield against much of the random judgment of strangers. 

Revel in it. 

You experience less personal scrutiny. 


I do not speak here of accountability, which we all need, but of the minute analysis of the media. It's likely that nobody on national TV will pick apart every word you said today. No one will dredge up comments you made twenty years ago in order to discredit that intelligent remark you just made (except possibly your spouse... but again, that's another story). 

Relax, let your hair down, and crack a few good jokes without worrying that any of them will become a sound bite used out of context. 

Hooray for being ordinary!

You possess a high likelihood of being used by God in a special way. 

The Biblical record demonstrates fairly consistently that we serve a God who delights to work through those who seem unknown -- through youngest sons, barren women, beggars, widows, and orphans. Through the poor, the needy, the sick, and the dying. Through the unknowns and the outcasts.

Although God loves and uses men and women of all backgrounds, his glory is best displayed through those the world considers unremarkable.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Listen, my dear brothers: Didn't God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5) 
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Here at the last, before you all dogpile me for claiming that anybody is "ordinary," allow me to remind you that I speak here only of the aspect of being known.

My next door neighbor is "ordinary" in that when he walks his dog down the street, nobody pops out of the bushes to ask for his autograph or snap a selfie with him. But I've chatted with him a bit, and he's far from ordinary.

I've met a lot of people, but I've never known a single one who's been "ordinary." 

Here's the thing: I'm not ordinary. 

Neither are you. 

None of us are.

But nobody knows that, and because nobody knows, we enjoy more privacy, experience less personal scrutiny, and thus are free to get on with the business of living our lives in the service of the God we adore.

That's the real power of being ordinary.

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