There, I said it, and now it’s out there. But I need to clarify the statement. My biggest fear in life is not of sickness, financial hardship, public speaking, heights, or even spiders. My biggest fear is being ordinary. I am deathly afraid of being just another guy who blended into the crowd—someone who never did anything important or significant with his life. I am terrified of “eking” my way through life, so caught up in the rut of the mundane that I pass from this Earth as just another inconsequential guy who had a job, raised some kids, and tried to get enough fiber in his diet.
Oh, I don’t always feel this way. Every once in a while something exciting rolls into the schedule. But most days are pretty much the same. It’s on those days, as I stare at the computer screen or pay the bills, as I have the same wrestling match with my kids or eat the same dinner with my wife—those are the days when I find myself wondering if I’m really doing anything that matters. If I’m really doing anything important at all.
And where does God fit into this equation? During those days, the days of the rut and the treadmill, I find myself wondering if He does at all. Surely this couldn’t be what God wants for me, this God who says that He put on flesh to come and give regular folks like me not only life, but life in abundance (John 10:10). So where is it? In my Google Calendar? In my morning commute? In the pancakes I flip every Saturday morning?
I want to propose an idea to you. It’s one that’s so very simple that we can often miss it. It’s an idea that can, I believe, dramatically change the way we view life as a whole:
What if there is no such thing as ordinary?
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?
Michael Kelley, Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life (Nashville: B&H, 2013).
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Michael Kelly’s book, Boring. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.