I am afraid of being ordinary.
I take a look around, a long look in the mirror, and I see routine. Is it just me, or do we let “what happens happen” far too often?
Sitting in church, I’m easily motivated to spend more time loving people. I actually get pretty pumped about it. But before I know it, it’s 8 a.m. and I’m half awake with spilled coffee all over my jeans. I scramble outside, throw my bags into the car, and race to class. I awkwardly crawl over an aisle of desks, sit down, and pray that our quiz will be canceled. I doodle on my notebook, survive Biology, and head out to meet my friends. I check my phone as I walk through the hallways and spend the rest of my day thinking about what I’ll eat, what homework to accomplish, and strategically figure out how to spend as much time with my friends as possible amidst my class and work schedule. And there you have it, my routine.
I didn’t look to the right or to the left; I plowed straight ahead, focused on myself and what I wanted. But, at the end of the day, what did I accomplish? Who did I help? What did I change? It’s not that I didn’t have good intentions; I just didn’t act intentionally.
I heard this quote in church recently: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” In order to accomplish something, we have to live with purpose. Lofty goals, distant dreams, and good intentions mean nothing if we don’t start working to accomplish them today. Desiring to spend more time in the Word won’t happen if we don’t set our alarms earlier. We say we want to love on people around us, but it won’t happen if we keep our faces in our phones and don’t look up.
To succeed in the long run, we have to be diligent in the small things. We have to be willing to change. We have to be open to the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to take on the whole world at once, but we start with small steps. If we keep our eyes open minute-by-minute for what the Lord has for us, trust me, we will find the extraordinary.
I want to get over myself for the sake of someone else. I want to put aside my silly momentary desires for a greater cause. At the end of my life when I go to heaven, I won’t be able to bring anything with me, except for those people that were on my right and on my left. I want to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that when He says, “move”, I move, and when He says, “Go love that person”, I go and love that person.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
There is a difference between existing and living. I think it’s related to the difference between intentions and action.
So, honestly, intentions aside, what are we doing?
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Me.” In order to truly follow Christ, we must die to ourselves on a daily basis. Simply put, we have to let go of our plan and submit ourselves to God’s plan. Not necessarily because what we desire is wrong, but because God has so much more for us.
So yes, the Christian life requires sacrifice. God may ask us to let go of something we desperately wanted to hold on to. But, guys, this is where it happens. This is where we trade ordinary for extraordinary.
As C.S. Lewis put it, “It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
So, this is a big decision. Do we want safe? Do we want ordinary? Or are we willing to go where God is calling us?
Before we let that little voice in our head convince us that what we want is more important than what God has planned, we have to realize the cost. John 5:24 says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
This is a matter of life or death for you and for the people around you. The truth of the gospel that you hold in your heart has the ability to SAVE LIVES. God wants to use YOU to bring life into the lives around you.
So the question is…. What are you going to do about that?
Our world is dying to live.