“Better to be ordinary and work for a living
than act important and starve in the process.” Proverbs 12:9
In Zack Eswine’s book, The Imperfect Pastor, he writes something similar to this: Long for greatness, dear Christian, but surrender your definition of extraordinary to the one Jesus supplies. To begin with we must embrace this one important truth: obscurity and greatness are not opposites.
Jesus is into the ordinary; He is of Nazareth. Place matters, even if it is small and somewhat despised. He said to His disciples (Luke 7:44): “Do you see this woman?” He saw Matthew at a tax table, a little man up a tree, and noticed the unnoticed in a crowd. Are we so focused on the “great” on our phones that we can’t see the greatness of potential right under our noses?
Jesus seems to avoid fame, yet was great. “Everyone is looking for you,” His disciples declared as if He was in the wrong. He wasn’t tweeting, blogging, or promoting His services. Jesus wasn’t acting important and starving in the process. Whereas I wanted fame, yet was kept ordinary, over time Eswine’s message affirmed God’s grace to us to whom ordinary is fitting.
Do you possess a stamina for going unnoticed by children, children in law, or your peers? Do you possess a spirituality to do a 1,000 unknown acts of kindness in a small place for God’s glory?
Here is what the living take to heart at a funeral of a person, who lived a truly great life: they loved well and faithfully kept their vows day in and out; they showed mercy by noticed the faces of those around them; and they generously gave away their opportunities for fake greatness for the privilege of true greatness – loving well.
How? Great people realized on the front end that the Gospel is true for themselves personally. Let me put it this way: you have already been discovered as the great and adorable person you are in Christ, which frees you up to go discover others in the same light today.
“Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process.”
See Zachary Eswine’s The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus (Crossway, 2015)