Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday thought: Ordinary

I have been blessed to sit under good, biblical, expository preaching in my home church for many years.  As my pastor has worked through the scriptures, several themes have emerged that have touched me profoundly.  One such theme is the idea of the God of the Universe being a God of the ordinary, and working through ordinary people and ordinary means for the most part to bring about His extraordinary plan.

I have sometimes wondered if the contemporary church's proclivity to follow the world in its love of celebrity is caused largely by our dismissing the ordinary means and works of grace.  I have been in that group where my ho-hum testimony of God's quiet, gentle faithfulness in my family and my life has been seen as suspect because I could not point to a time and date or dramatic event for my conversion.  I wonder if our love of great preacher-personalities, national conferences, and contemporary Christian music personalities is nothing more than the church following after the world.

I have struggled in this period of my life-- when I am fighting disease and needing to retreat from activity-- with God's purpose for me.  I must admit that I have asked God if He didn't have something better and bigger for me to do than rest in my chair in the afternoon. Or make dinner for my husband.  Or teach two students how to write. Or care for aging parents.  Or pray. The fact that I ask that question might tell me much about the idols of my heart.

Ordinary acts of service and obedience are perhaps the big acts, not the little ones.  They may not be noteworthy, but they do the tough work of building a Christian character. May we be brave enough, Gentle Reader, to be faithful in the little things.

I have found the series of discussions at the White Horse Inn on all things "ordinary" found here to be helpful.  You will find the podcasts posted in the upper right-hand corner.  Look for the word "ordinary" in the title.

1 comment:

Alissa Idler said...

Beautiful! This theme continues to poke out its little head at every turn. After being recently taught how the book of Ruth embodies the theme "God of the ordinary", I too am convicted that maybe I love big fanfare and desire a celebrity sort of status for my life. Thank you for being a faithful model and seeking to find joy in a gentle, peaceable, and quiet life. There is nothing the enemy hates more than humble obedience.