Ordinary to Extraordinary

Intrinsically, we are just ordinary people. Many of us are ordinary college students who, on a typical day, wake up, go to class, eat a couple of meals, watch a lot of television and goof around with our friends until we remember the stack of homework we haven’t done, in which we quickly do it, go to sleep, and start all over again. Truthfully, we are ordinary people who lead routine and mundane lives. And not only do we all rely on similar schedules for ordinary tasks, but we also experience similar feelings, struggles, hopes and dreams with many other human beings. In short, most of what we think, say and do is not out of the ordinary at all. We should remember, however, that even though we are ordinary people, we are called to do extraordinary things

In Ephesians 4:1, the apostle Paul writes, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (NIV). Paul is charging Christians to accept God’s calling to become spiritually mature believers, using our talents to do works of service in His name. In essence, this may be marked by the leading of radical and transformative lives, doing extraordinary work that would be impossible if not for the promise relayed in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (NIV).

So what extraordinary things can we do? The first thoughts that come to most of our minds are of going on mission trips with our churches, saving a soul per day and enacting world peace. We tend to think of really big things when we hear the word extraordinary, but God also wants us to take on smaller-scale projects that have a really big impact.

For instance, do a simple act of kindness every day. Maybe this involves smiling and saying hello to those who pass you on the path, approaching a person who is sitting alone in the Dining Commons, offering to help someone who is struggling with homework or telling a joke to cheer someone up. In short, God calls us to do the extraordinary in grand, widespread, prolonged and life-changing acts, but He also calls us to do small, life-changing actions in an ordinary day of our ordinary lives as ordinary people.

Do not be intimidated by this calling; rather, be encouraged by the knowledge that we are not the only ones to receive it. Indeed, others who have gone before us have both received and responded to God in this way. Duffy Robbins, in his book “Building a Youth Ministry That Builds Disciples”, wrote, “It’s hard to imagine that Jesus could ever use a ragtag, occasionally disinterested, often confused band of misfits who aren’t even fully sure that Jesus is who he says he is…until we’ve read the Gospels. Then we begin to realize the extraordinary feats God can accomplish through ordinary people” (87). May we therefore go out into the world as ordinary people working to lead extraordinary lives to the glory and honor of God.

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