What if there is no such thing as ordinary?

Jesus-Reaching-Out

photo: iStock

If one thing’s abundantly clear by now, it’s that the whole radical/not-radical Christianity question isn’t going away anytime soon. More books, more articles, more curriculums… all sorts of things are being produced to help you understand what the Christian life really is all about.

But what if we’re missing the point?

What, the question isn’t “how ordinary is too ordinary,” but, “what if there is no such thing as ordinary?”

Michael Kelley elaborates in his upcoming book, Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life:

What if we are looking so hard for these grandiose experiences of significance that we are missing the opportunities for significance right in front of us? What if there is no such thing as ordinary when you follow an extraordinary God? (8)

This is really the point that I think everyone writing on this subject is trying to get at—because we follow an extraordinary God, there is no such thing as “ordinary.” And even when we are, it’s extraordinarily ordinary.

But what if there’s something else driving the question (at least on some level):

What if we’re really just afraid of seeming insignificant?

That’s what I believe drives a lot of us in our pursuit of “more”—even when it’s more for the (apparent) glory of God. But the search for significance in any of our actions—whether growing a giga-church or trying to end systemic poverty—is ultimately unfulfilling if we’re not focused on the right thing:

That is, not just “doing great things for God” but being amazed by how great our God truly is.

Paul speaks of times in his ministry when he had great abundance, and other times when he face great need. Through both he learned to be content. Why? Because he wasn’t focused on what was before him materially and situationally. His focus was on the One who redeemed Him.

When we get that, it reorients all our thinking, and even the most seemingly mundane routine of sweeping, wiping, and distributing fishie crackers (can you tell we’ve got young kids in our house?) is infused with significance. And it’s the way we respond to the ordinary tasks that make them extraordinary.

  • John Walker

    I love your thoughts on ordinary not actually be ordinary. I think one of the beauties of the Christian worldview is the profound meaning it subscribes to all things. Nothing is ordinary, at least in the sense of mundane and boring. It is all infused with significance and purpose from the Creator God. Everything that exists (physically speaking, disregarding evil) is the result of His creative volition. G. K. Chesterton grasped this so well!

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