Yesterday I was visiting the blog of Denise Mira (http://denisemira.com/blog/). She is a mother of five boys who has homeschooled them and written the book, No Ordinary Child. We haven't read it, but the little we have heard about her intrigued Mary Ann and me. I went to her blog to check it out, and I really liked the paragraph she has as her standard paragraph at the top of her page. I found it reflected my heart as well, and I thought I would share it with you. It reads:
Ordinary is not good enough. Normal will not change the world. We are No Ordinary People, created by No Ordinary God, for No Ordinary Purpose. I refuse to live a Beige life, carrying out Business As Usual. Boring. I choose to live an adventure as a daughter of the King of Kings. I invite you to join me! It won’t always be pretty, but it will be genuine, and we will have an impact where we live.
When I read that I thought, "Wow, that expresses my heart, and the heart I have for why I started my blog and have invited others to read it and take part in it." (This is not about the job you have, or don't have, or the house you live in, or anything like that---this is about your heart and excitement and joy.) Really, Denise's quote is a reflection of my heart for my life, and ultimately the lives of my family, and the church I pastor. (For me it is absolutely critical that things don't end with my blog, but that the things I write and share in this blog find their end lived out in a life, beginning with mine---otherwise it is theology for theology's sake and I desperately need to have the fruit of my meditation and discussion be ultimately transferred in to my daily life. My prayer, as I pass what God has shown me down to my girls, is that, as Bill Johnson says, "My ceiling will become their floor"---that they will begin at their tender young age where it has taken me 43 years to get.)
Reflecting on Denise's quote, I have found that, in my life, I have let so much slip in to ordinary that could be extraordinary---whether I am "doing" or just resting. Like I have said to Mary Ann so many times when things are rough or we're just in a rough place, "The devil steals enough. We don't need to gift wrap things and hand them to him." So much of my life I have allowed to just go by, sort of mundane, when every moment has the potential to be an adventure with my Father, the King. I don't beat myself up for those lapses, I just want to make them fewer and farther in between.
Just this morning I was sitting with Mary Ann (with two mugs of fresh ground drip coffee, of course!) in our garden area under some misters talking and watching the water collect on the leaves of the tomato plants and strawberries. Thinking over Denise's quote I thought, and then shared with Mary Ann, "We could just sit here and think, 'this is pretty,' or we could notice the way the water pools on the leaves, the colors reflected in the mist, the bees and hummingbirds that flit around performing their essential roles, the deep blue of the immense sky above, the intricate pattern of the leaves of the plants, and find ourselves in awe, at this moment, of our amazing God and Creator."
I thought about all the times I have swam in my pool of worry and stress and glumness and routine when I could see each overwhelming moment as an exciting chance for the King of Kings to break in and show off how the impossible bows before His presence.
I thought of how many times I just "exist" when, if I paused to reflect on it, wherever I am, having asked Christ in to my heart as my personal Lord and Savior, God is with me. God is right next to you, right now, as you read this! How can THAT be ordinary!
If we bring our thoughts captive to true reality, every moment is a moment with God who is with us. Every broken heart or body or life is a chance for God to perform a miracle through us. Every glimpse of creation is a reflection of God. Every breath and everything good in my life is a gift from God. Every encounter with darkness or the results of darkness is a chance to exercise our privilege and authority as the children of God. Every person we meet---at work, in a store, at school---is a chance to show them the image of God. Every opportunity to love is a chance to partake in the heart of God. Every moment of stillness is a chance to commune with God and hear the voice of God whisper His secrets to us. Every second of our life we are, as Christians, soldiers in a spiritual war raging around us with a very real enemy who seeks to devour not only us, but that which we love and that which God loves. Every prayer we lift goes in to the throne room of God. Every miracle Jesus did is a landmark for us to aim for---we of whom He said greater things than even He did we would do.
I, and you, if you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, have the same God as Moses, as the children of Israel, as Elijah, as Peter, and as Paul. You have the same God as all the millions of people who have had Him work miracles in their lives. You have the same God who brought love and hope to an adulteress, acceptance to social outcasts, healing to lepers, life to the dead, forgiveness to sinners. He is your God, and He is mine.
No. I really, really don't want an ordinary life. I want to live, with great expectancy, as the child of the King I am, for however many years I have left here until He takes me home for eternity. I want, wherever I am planted, to reflect Him and His love and His power in all I do, and be aware of His love and presence in every moment. And I am so blessed to be able to walk out this journey and adventure with all of you. What a privilege to be a part of the body of Christ. May we lift up, encourage, and love one another into who God calls us to be! As, Bill Holdridge, a former pastor of Mary Ann and mine who spoke at our wedding and was instrumental in my coming to Christ shared recently in his blog (http://pastorbillholdridge.wordpress.com/ ---Pass the Chocolate), we need to live in the moment, aware of the moment, secure and resting in His love, not dwelling in the past which He has paid for, nor in the future which is in His hands and eternally secure, but in the moment---aware that we share that moment with the Creator of the Universe who is absolutely crazy about us and calls us His very own!