Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are our most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our “ordinary” because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others (I’m not as good a writer as _____), false expectations of ourselves (I should be on the NYTimes best seller list or not write at all), and false investments in a story (it’s all been written before, I shouldn’t bother). What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever, and pick up your ordinary.
First I want to say I disagree with Emerson’s assertion that “the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.” I believe that right and wrong a clearly defined by God in His Word. When we start to get into right and wrong as defined by me, things get cloudy and mirky. God’s way is the way to go.
Now let me also say I really agree with what the challenge writer posted about comparison. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, we begin to try to be like them and stop being what we were created to be or we walk away defeated because we are trying to be something we were never supposed to be in the first place. I’ve fallen into this trap many times. I’ve quit doing things because I don’t feel like I measure up to someone else. but what if I was supposed to invent a different way of doing it. Did Picasso quit because his work didn’t look like everyone else’s? No, and he became one of the world’s foremost artists precisely because of his difference.
False expectations will also kill you. How many people have quit something because they couldn’t be the best in the world (or even in their community) at what they do? I know I have. There is one thing I am the best in the entire world at and it is the one thing I can do beyond the shadow of a doubt. I am the best person at being THIS David Weiss (yes there are others and I can’t be them) in the entire world. My job then is to do that well. To clean up the edges, polish the gifts, submit that will to God and go forward in being who I am made to be. His plan for me is unique in the entire universe and my life is part of that plan for the universe. I don’t get to pick if it’s large or small, I’m just privileged to be a piece in that puzzle. Congrats, you’re a piece too. Did Bob Dylan give up because he is not the world’s best singer. No, he sang his song and became the voice of his generation.
It hasn’t all been done. You still have a part to play. Play it for all your worth. Give God your best and watch Him do His best in you. This prompt really made me think about all the Bible people (or at least the good ones). We look at them as if they were superheroes but with the exception of Jesus, they weren’t. The Bible is pretty good at pointing out their flaws and their foibles. They were ordinary people just like you and me. What made them extraordinary was simple and available to everyone of us even you and me. They were ordinary people who put their ordinary lives in the hands of an extraordinary God andthat made all the difference.
Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
1 Kings 15-16; Psalm 53
1 Kings 17-18; Psalm 115
1 Kings 19-20
You can also download your own chart here.