An Ordinary Life
Yesterday I re-read the biography of Bill Wallace, a missionary to China during a turbulent and violent time in Chinese history. It’s one of my favourites, along with the story of Eric Liddell, and Jim Elliot. However, the sheer poignancy, power, and heroics of the these stories set me thinking about the Christian life in general.
I wonder how many Christians feel their own life story is ineffectual and bland compared to the life stories of these “men of faith?” How many of us have felt like what we do isn’t as important or earth-shaking simply because we’re ordinary?
What we’ve failed to realize is that the aforementioned men also considered themselves “ordinary.” They never saw anything heroic or extraordinary in the work they did or the lives they lived. They were just “doing their job.”
Growing up during the 70s, most churches glamorized “rebels,” people who lived hard lives before turning to Christ and godliness. “What great testimonies!” resounded through the congregations, while ordinary young people were unintentionally made to feel their testimonies didn’t count because it wasn’t glamorous enough.
Remember the Karate Kid movie? The famous “wax on, wax off” scene? Daniel’s frustration with doing the ordinary things when all he really wanted to do was learn karate? Our lives as Christians are like that. It is through the ordinary, daily, boring, simple, unnoticed acts and attitudes that we do the extraordinary.
While the saying the “stars shine brightest in the darkest night,” is true, what we tend to forget is the stars are always shining, even in the daylight. They never stop shining. They don’t wait for darkness to shine. They go about the business of shining 24/7 and the circumstances don’t hinder, dictate or influence their ability to shine.
I think what the world needs more of is consistent, ordinary Christians who shine 24/7, who aren’t worried whether someone notices them shining or whether the brilliance of the sun blots out their light. They keep right on shining. After all, when it’s daylight here, it’s night somewhere else.