Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ordinary


Lately I’ve really done a horrible job at updating my blog. For those four people that read it…I apologize ;-)

Life in Russia continues to be an adventure, full of ups and downs and little victories. The other day I bought a Pepsi light from the café across the street all by myself. It sounds slightly pathetic but I found enormous satisfaction in being able to answer every question and complete the entire transaction without having to pull out my favorite phrase, “yaneepannemayou” a.k.a. “I don’t understand.” While I thank God for the ability to get around my new home now without wanting someone to hold my hand every step of the way, I’ve also come to see the danger in it. Comfort breeds complacency. When I no longer have to pray my way through each moment of the day, it is easy for prayer to become that which I do when I have time. When I’m not constantly aware of my weakness, it isn’t hard to think I can get along just fine by my own strength. Lies can look a lot like truth when we want them to.

I’ve never really thought of myself as anything but ordinary. I'd say I’m average. Average in intelligence. Average in appearance. Average in abilities. I have no talents to impress you with, no knowledge to fascinate you with, and no charm to woo you with. I am me, and for quite some time, I've felt it never quite enough. Possibly if I lost a few pounds I’d be more attractive. Maybe if I took up a new hobby I could find something I’m exceptionally good at. Perhaps if I was more outgoing people would take notice. And each time I've tried to be a little different, that which I am not, becomes exponentially more obvious to me.

I’m not writing this so you’ll argue the validity of my self-image. Please don’t. I’m writing this because in the midst of my own complacency and laziness, I’ve realized something. Loving and obeying God is hard. Being a “Christian” isn’t so bad. I can go to church, say nice things to people (even if I don’t mean them), hang out with people who are just like me, and read my Bible with the best of them. But truly loving God is another story. It takes work. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes intentionality. It takes sacrifice. Sometimes even when we feel like we’ve given up enough for Him…our families, our friends, our homes, our comfort…He asks us to give more. He asks us to give up our greed and our lust. He wants our laziness, our selfishness, and our pride. (He is kind of greedy when it comes to sin). He asks us to give a little more than we think we have left to give and it’s hard. When I am honest with myself, I can say I’ve felt inadequate and average because I’ve wasted too much time focusing on that which could never change who I am. Maybe I am ordinary. And maybe that is okay. But if at the end of the day I can look back and say I did everything I could to love God with more intentionality, humility, authenticity, and purity than ever before…now that…that could be pretty extraordinary.

4 comments:

Richard Price said...

Great post. How important it is for us to pray our way "through each moment"! An awareness of our infinite weakness is really an appeal for the infinite strength of Christ :) I also appreciate what you wrote about the attempts to dress up our personalities for people around us while neglecting to purify our hearts.

anng said...

I always love your posts friend. You are such a wise woman and I respect you immensely. Thanks for being the honest and real you and sharing with us all!

katie said...

I love you. And the part you wrote about "comfort breeds complacency" is something I am struggling with right now. I am comfortable in my home, in my little town, with my friends. But God has asked a sacrifice from me... and whether we're ordinary or not, we are to trust his leading and follow obediently. Thanks for sharing, lil Rush.

andrea said...

13, 63 and 69 all have something in common... ;)