Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Exceptional in the Most Ordinary Way

There is something deep within me that wants to do or be something exceptional. I often couch this thought in the phrase "for the Lord," but I have to wonder if it really is for the Lord or for me. This seems like a noble impulse, and it may be common to us all at some level, but it lacks some essential discernment. I can’t imagine a time when anything I could do in my strength would truly be exceptional for the Lord. How can you wow the one who with the flick of His wrist spun galaxies into order?

Still, it seems He longs for us to be exceptional in the mundane things—to be exceptional in the face of selfishness, rude clerks, ignorant words and other drivers. Maybe these are the things that best prepare us for the rare glimpses of His glory. When we learn to expect his presence in every area of daily living, then we’re not surprised when we see Him in a big way.

This kind of “exceptional” is God's way. We respond in exceptional ways when we do so with grace. We make exceptional choices when we trust Him. We act exceptionally when we draw on His grace and not our own power to live this life. I don’t deny that there are brief glimpses of glorious exception that seem to wrap life in gold and seal it with amazement. But such moments are rare indeed. What God has given us all in abundance are mundane routines that we trudge through daily, and He certainly means for us to be exceptional in these. It’s here that we see His glory—when our eyes are open and trained to spot Him moving in them.

This is where Jesus lived each day. This is why in the crowd He could spot one hurting woman who needed His touch. This is why He refused to shoo adoring and inquisitive children away. This is why He wouldn’t pass people by or treat them as blurry memories as he laid his head down to rest at night. Jesus showed us it is God's will to be exceptional in the uninspired moments and see the glory of God revealed. Living this way packed a lot of living into thirty three exceptional years.

Lord, help me bring glory to your name in the mundane moments of my life today. Help me be exceptional in the most ordinary way.

Ed Litton