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Christy McFarland's picture

The Everyday Ordinary

It has been eight years and yet I still consider the other side of seminary and church staff as weird. If I'm honest then I must also admit that I often read with envy of friends who do what I used to “do”: prepare lessons/sermons, attend national conferences, lead mission trips, pioneer new ministries, study cross-cultural and justice issues, etc. and I often find myself thinking, “I used to do those things. Is my past work invisible? I still care too.”
 
The everyday has changed.
My everyday now feels “ordinary”.
 
I always pause after these moments of insecurity because I’m challenged, even in my own mind, about why “ordinary” feels negative. Maybe it’s because I still want to be a superhero like I consider the following world-changers:
 
William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce worked for twenty years to abolish the slave trade in England with a handful of colleagues. Three days before his death, 26 (more) years later, Wilberforce learned that Parliament agreed to the emancipation of slavery. His life has had a profound impact on the abolition of slavery, education, and philanthropy in England and the United States.
 
Dedication… to the daily “ordinary”.
 
Henri Nouwen.
After nearly two decades of writing and teaching at universities such as the University of Notre Dame, Yale University, and Harvard University, Nouwen went to live and work among adults with profound learning disabilities at L’Arche in Toronto, Canada.
 
Humility… in the daily “ordinary”.
 
Rene Rochester
René was the first African American to earn a doctorate of health education from The University of Texas at Austin. Rene was a track athlete that would transition into a personal mentor and a discipler of young adults across the nation.
 
Perseverance…in the daily “ordinary”.
 
Our “everyday” is much more than ordinary.  The “everyday” includes routines that we establish for ourselves but it also includes the opportunities and restrictions that we experience due to the culture and circumstances in which we live.
 
Consider the exhortation of Psalm 1 and dig in with your heels to Truth. The things learned through Scripture study and meditation will provide nourishment during times of drought, trouble, and change. Fruit will arrive at the proper time.
 
Stand in obedience within the everyday ordinary.
 
Superheroes aren’t only dressed in tights and masks but, more often than not, in the clothing of humble men and women who serve with dedication and perseverance within the “everyday ordinary”.
 
May the everyday become extraordinary.
And may our “ordinary” result in radical glory for the Kingdom of God.

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