From Ordinary to Great

As we continue our observance of Epiphany, we encourage you to begin each day with our weekly reflection.

I have a bad habit.

And until recently I was actually not aware it was a bad habit other than causing the occasional fight with my wife.

I spend an unhealthy amount of time in a mythical future.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe dreaming big and using our imagination for the kingdom is a very good thing. The problem comes when the future distracts us from the present. Often my “dreams” are not rooted in reality and are initiated by some dissatisfaction I am currently experiencing.

So I have come home before with elaborate plans to pack up and move to Canada with no home, job, money, or friends. I just know they have good health care and less gun related violence.

But I do have healthy dreams as well. I have things I believe God planted in my heart for the future. The problem comes when I spend more time dreaming of what it will be like later than focusing on what is happening right here and right now.

As I have given these dreams and goals to God, he has consistently said the same thing to me: Be faithful with what you have NOW.

Your family…

Your current job…

The friends and neighbors who live right next you…

The day-in and day-out tasks of today

These are where God asks for faithfulness. And He promises to take care of the rest. They will more than likely look differently than what I envision, but He promises to take care of the future. Which is why I need not waste my time worrying about it.

Which brings us to the story.

I love the Gospel of John. One of the things I love about it is the metaphors. Jesus uses the most ordinary things to show he is the Messiah:

…water

….wine

…bread

…light

These ordinary and elemental things are how he reveals himself.

And they are the stuff of his first “sign.”

Jesus_turns_water_into_wine-273x300Here we find Jesus in an ordinary setting, where he takes ordinary things and through an extraordinary act, creates more ordinary things. Jesus keeps the party going. Our guess is most where unaware he had a hand in this at all. It was ordinary, quiet, subtle… and it is what caused his followers to really believe.

Before he raises people from the dead, before he feeds thousands of people through a few loaves of bread, before heals blindness and leprosy and paralysis…

…ordinary.

I often wonder if the humanity of Jesus shows a bit here. His mom tells him to do this ordinary task, but he says it is not the time.

Then he does it anyway.

Either way Jesus shows us in this story that sometimes we need to start with the ordinary. How will we change the world if we are not faithful to the small things we have in front of us?

And perhaps those “small” things are not so small at all.

When Jesus is faithful in the ordinary, it sets the tone and the precedent for the great thing that are to come.

There is another scene where water, wine, and Mary show up.

These three elements bookend his ministry.

What starts out as ordinary leads to the most dramatic and revolutionary moment the world has ever known.

Changing the world starts with walking the road of the cross in ordinary moments.

And when we do this, we not only find life, but we give life to all who are around us.

So this week, stop and ask God: What ordinary things are you calling me to?

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