I was looking at the backs of some movies today and saw one named “Pride.” I read what it said on the back and it said that it was about how one ordinary man did something extraordinary. Now I’ve never seen this movie. It may be a great movie. It may be a terrible one. I don’t know. I did think about this claim though. How one ordinary man did something extraordinary. I thought on how that was the selling point of a movie on the DVD.
My mind thought of how C.S. Lewis said there are no ordinary people. Every person you meet will be either a creature you will be tempted to bow down and worship if you saw it now, or will be a creature so scary that your worst nightmares could not picture it. There are no ordinary people.
I pondered that along with this point. If there are no ordinary people, then it would seem that everyone is extraordinary. It seems then that the shocking movie to us would not be about the man who does something extraordinary. It would be about the man who does nothing extraordinary.
Unfortunately, I believe we have reached such a state of mediocrity where we expect that. There are those people that will come along and want to do something great. What will we say? “Come down and live in the real world.” No. The people wanting to do something great should say “Come up and live in the real world.”
A child will often grow up wanting to do something great. Adults he meets will tell him that when he grows up, he’ll get past such childhood delusions. The child needs to respond that maybe the adult needs to become a child again if that means that the adult will get past such adult delusions.
Does this mean you will necessarily be famous? No. You might be. You might not be. It does mean though that you can change things. I would suggest considering a man like Edward Kimball. Who was that? Maybe some of you know. It is quite likely though that most people do not.
Edward Kimball was a Sunday School teacher in the middle of the 19th century who taught 6th grade boys. These boys would gather and were more interested in cracking jokes and making noises with their armpits. Everyone thought Kimball was overwhelmed and didn’t know what he was doing. So did he.
Yet, he tried. He paced around outside the shoe store where one of his students named Dwight worked. He really didn’t want to go in and talk, but he did. He went to the counter and started talking to Dwight about how Jesus had changed his life. When Kimball looked up, he saw that Dwight was crying.
That Dwight, we know today as Dwight L. Moody.
Did Kimball change the world and do something extraordinary? You bet he did! In fact, as I ponder it, he not only changed the world, he changed Heaven and Earth. Heaven is a different place because just one more person was won to Christ. Be you a Calvinist or an Arminian, we all agree the preaching of the gospel leads people to Christ so I don’t think your stance on that issue will effect what I have said.
How did he do it? He talked to someone. Maybe you’ll do it. Maybe you’ll encourage someone. Maybe you’ll preach a message. Maybe you’ll go out and help the poor. Maybe you’ll be a counselor or a teacher. Maybe you’ll write. Maybe you’re financially blessed and you’ll donate to help others.
Whatever you do, let it not be said of us that the shocking thing was that we did something extraordinary. Let it be that we are not one of the shocking few that do nothing extraordinary. We can all do great things if we really see what it is we are doing and how God can take our actions and use them for great things.
And that’s the real way isn’t it? Don’t we need to look and see God behind it all and realize that this is a story that we are involved in? If this is God’s story, how can things NOT be extraordinary? What is not extraordinary? It is the sad reality of simply not participating in this grand story. Rest assured, God will use you in this story somehow, but will he use you willingly or not? Will you willingly enjoy this adventure, or grudgingly be carried along the ride?
That choice is up to you.