One of the reasons I love Jesus so much is how he turns our assumptions about what is real upside down. In so many ways, Jesus was just an ordinary guy. He had a small group of friends he ran around with, worked a trade job, took time to himself, and loved his mom. Jesus lived simply, carried no weapons, and had very few possessions. He loved on small groups of people who were off the map, preached to crowds of displaced and hurting people, and spoke honestly when confronted.
He lived life without a platform or a bullhorn. Yet, he changed the world. In three years. This is why I love Jesus.
So, to end the week, I want to put out a couple of ways you can focus on just being ordinary, and be more like Jesus.
1. Be a helper
April and May were such difficult months in our country with the Boston bombings, the West explosion, and the tornadoes in Moore. So many lives were lost and families broken. But in all of this, the decency of humanity came out and people helped rebuild. Runners ran into the bombing area to rescue people. Firefighters lost their lives fighting the West fire before it exploded. And, many of these folks will remain nameless and faceless.
One of my favorite quotes on this idea was from Fred Rodgers, or you might know him as “Mr Rodgers” when asked about how to talk to children about tragedy:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
2. Work to give credit away
My in-laws are really good at this. It is borderline frustrating (in a good way). Often times when we say “thank you” for doing something they will reply with a “well, thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this for you”. In so many ways they try to give the credit back to the one who says “thank you”. For them, credit isn’t really a big deal. Doing good things is a big deal. Even Jesus wouldn’t take credit for the things he did. He just pointed people towards his Father.
3. Be content to be a seed planter
We don’t often think this way, but Jesus was really a seed planter. Many of his encounters with people were brief, but obviously impactful. Think of the encounter with the Samaratan woman in John 4. An entire town was changed by a simple, well placed conversation with Jesus. No miracles or sermons. Just a conversation that touched her heart.
Outside of his disciples, Jesus acted more as a seed planter than a cultivator. You can have a huge impact when you focus on the moments you are given. Being a seed planter won’t get you a lot of notoriety or hits on YouTube, but it will give you a better chance to focus on the people in your influence here and now.
You see, ordinary might be boring to some, but can change the world. This idea is another on the long list of paradoxes Jesus lived out.
So today, focus on being ordinary. Tell us how it goes!