You are Ordinary

I’m not insulting you. I am simply stating the odds. Chances are, you’re ordinary just like me. I just started reading The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias, and the first chapter is about recognizing God’s imprint on your life. Ravi rightly states, “Not everyone is a Bach or an Einstein. But there is splendor in the ordinary.” He says this in the context of what so many face on a daily basis, namely, the pressure to DO something grand or special.

I know I’ve felt that pressure. For me this temptation comes primarily in the arena of academics. “If I could just get a degree from a world renown school, then I will have DONE something grand.”  But I know that’s not true. So when I was rejected by Duke University I was crushed. I shouldn’t have been surprised that a school with the Devil as their mascot would betray me, but it didn’t numb the pain. Not only was I not attending an elite school; I was rejected by an elite school. I actually went backwards–who does that?

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that if I don’t DO something incredible that my existence will not have mattered. I won’t matter unless I write a book that changes someone’s life or build a ministry of 10,000 people or earn a PhD from a school that when you hear the name makes you think, “Wow, that dude must be brilliant…and in a ton of debt.” There is splendor in the ordinary. It’s a lesson I’m learning everyday. That doesn’t mean I won’t strive to do some great things. But any effort has to flow out of who I am and Whose I am.

Do you ever feel the pressure to DO something extraordinary instead of seeing the splendor in the ordinary?


  1. Nikomas · February 2, 2011

    I think the desire to do something extraordinary comes to all of us. Many times the extraordinary things we (I) try to do are just copycats of what our idols have already done. And there’s nothing extraordinary about that!

    • patricklmitchell · February 3, 2011

      Nikomas, I so often compare myself with “heroes” and what they’ve accomplished and feel that if I could do the same or something similar I will be validated. It’s difficult coming to grips with just being me and doing what God’s gifted and planned for ME to do.

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