Gloriously Ordinary

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

My grandmother, Mimi, and her dear friend, Sadie Hodge, walked together nearly every morning. Mimi would drive to Sadie’s house on the east brow of Lookout Mountain. They would put on their walking hats, slicker raincoats, grab their walking sticks, and proceed, hunched over on their way.

Their route took them down East Brow Road past Carter Park where the parking meters for the tourist trap - the Incline Railway - were located, through Point Park, down West Brow and back around to Sadie’s house. They were hunched over, not simply because of age, but because of a daily search they made as they walked.

Mimi and Sadie maintained a slow pace and open eyes as they scanned the ground for discarded pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters or even the occasional paper bills that tourists in a hurry had let fall from their hands or pockets or purses and didn’t think twice about picking them up. They collected their finds each day - things as ordinary, common, and unspectacular as pocket change. And at Christmas time they would count up the total – often times as much as 200-300 dollars – and buy toys, gifts, and a meal for a family in our community that would not otherwise get to celebrate Christmas.

Such an ordinary, subtle, and under the radar type of thing. Such common, overlooked materials breeding such uncommon results and extraordinary blessings and relationships. How many people had jogged over the same ground, ridden their bikes along the same sidewalk, driven their cars down the same stretch of road? Going too fast to notice. Ordinary walking yielding extraordinary results.

If you are honest with yourself, one thing that scares you and motivates you is avoiding being an ordinary person. What makes your life worth living is creating and maintaining distinctives that set you apart from others (avoiding being anybody anywhere as well as a nobody from nowhere).

In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul instructs new believers at a young church what the life of faith looks like after conversion. He tells them to “walk”. Such an ordinary, everyday, and anywhere sort of life he commends to them and to us. But, again, if we are honest, it seems a little too ordinary!

Walking is boring. Walking is not conspicuous enough, spectacular, noteworthy, distinct, unique, does not elicit and keep attention of those who matter. You can’t get ahead by walking. Running, being busy, and scurrying around for some great thing to do or secret thing to know seems like it pushes us forward.

You do not have to grab God’s attention with a spectacular show of faith and obedience – you already have his attention and favor and delight because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross – this actually frees you to be an ordinary instrument in the hands of the Redeemer.

God is fulfilling his purposes in an extraordinary manner in and through your ordinary life.

Today, marvel at the grace of God that calls you to gloriously ordinary living in this world. He can use ordinary walking to bring about extraordinary blessing to you and those around you!

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