To Be Exceptional in the Ordinary
I am great at starting things. I love tossing around ideas, planning for the future, dreaming big. Put me in a room with other creative people, and I could come up with all kinds of great plans. Actually making those plans happen, though…I am NOT great at that. Turning ideas into reality requires attention to detail. I do not love details. Details are boring. Tedious. Blah. And when I do get around to completing the “blah,” I want praise, pats on the back, a “Wow, you did all that? You’re amazing!!” I want to be recognized for enduring the horrors of details.
I came across this quote in my bible study a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since:
“The thing that tells in the long run for God is the steady persevering work in the unseen. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things. It does require the supernatural grace of God to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.” – Oswald Chambers (emphasis mine)
For me, the idea of being “exceptional in the ordinary” means to finish what I start, to persevere in the sea of details. It means working alone and unseen to accomplish a task, even when I might not get any credit for it, any pats on the back. To complete the tasks God has given me out of love for Him. Not giving up because it’s too hard, not making “noise” while I’m doing it so I get attention. Just plodding along, even when it isn’t fun. Even when I’d rather be doing something else.
I am still in the process of learning this lesson. I am not “there” yet. But I am grateful that God shows me where I am and points me to where He wants me to be. I am grateful He is a God who finishes what He starts. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6