I believe it's easy to be overwhelmed by that which seems extraordinary. Culturally, the ordinary is just unacceptable. The idea that pervades our society is that if you really want to be someone, you must be extraordinary. It's not enough to be a good student. You need to be a great student. It's not enough to be a good athlete. You need to be a star athlete. It's not enough to be a good mom or dad. You need to be the best mom or dad. It's not enough to simply follow Jesus. You must be a supreme follower of Jesus.
But What About All Us Ordinary Folk?
The problem I have with all of this extraordinary junk is that I'm a rather ordinary guy. I'm not a genius. My athleticism is continually on the decline. I'm an okay dad (my kids seem to still love me). And when it comes to following Jesus I'm pretty run of the mill.
Okay With Being Ordinary ?
The question us ordinary folks need to ask ourselves is whether or not we're okay with being ordinary? And the reality is that whether we're okay with it or not we need to be because the chances are that extraordinariness–at least as the world defines it–is not in our deck of cards.
Point To The Extraordinary!
How do we get to a place of being okay with our ordinariness? The answer is simple; point to the only one who is truly extraordinary! Jesus.
You see, we've been fed a lie and we've devoured it like warm apple pie on a crisp fall day. It isn't a new lie. It's the same lie that's been believed for thousands and thousands of years. When Satan tempted Eve, he tempted her with extraoridnariness. She believed that she needed to be more than she had already been made. The sad truth in this is that she already was extraordinary. The eyes of God (the only eyes that really matter) saw in her no flaw.
As image bearers of God you and I are already extraordinary beings. Yes, we're tainted by sin which is why we desperately need the extraordinary Jesus to save us, but we still hold a wholly unique place in the universe that no other created thing does. Dogs don't reflect God. Trees and mountains don't reflect God. People do. We don't need to be a "star" at anything. We simply need to be as He has created us and in so doing point to the One who is extraordinary.
When John the baptist was asked, "Are you the Christ?" we are told he confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ" (John 1:20). John was a man who in the worlds eyes was extraordinary. (A little weird, but extraordinarily weird nonetheless. And lets face it, we like things a little weird.) The point is this, John was given opportunity to continue believing the lie that he needed to be someone who he hadn't been made to be. People were willing to receive him as the Messiah! Acceptance of this would have brought him certain and instant fame. But John made it his aim to confess and point to Jesus.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me. - John 1:30
John was okay with pointing people away from himself and to the truly Extraordinary one. He lived his life with the understanding that "...this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase but I must decrease" (John 3:29-30, emphasis mine).
Decrease With Joy
We're daily faced with the temptation to draw more and more attention to ourselves. It isn't bad in and of itself to be known, recognized, or famous, but a life lived for our own fame is sure to bring destruction.
In Christ, we can joyfully decrease. We don't need recognition given to us by the world. We don't need to act like idiots in hopes that our idiocy will go viral. We don't need thousands of Facebook and twitter followers. In fact we don't need to be known at all because in Christ we know that we are fully known (Galatians 4:9)! And with joy we decrease so that Jesus will increase all the more.