Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Perfectly Ordinary

Yesterday, I attended a weekly bible study that I have been going to for about 5 or 6 years now.  This year we are studying the book of Genesis.  I have to admit that in all of my many years, I have never actually studied this book.  I know all about the creation story, the flood story, the Abraham story and all the other stories but for some reason I have never realized that they are all in this book.  I’m not sure if I’m just dense (probably) or just plain ignorant.  Many times I just hear things over and over without really understanding or really knowing what I am hearing and reading or really understanding where it came from.  Dumb, I know.

Anyway, right now we are studying about Isaac, the son of Abraham, and the father of Jacob and Esau.  The kid that was almost sacrificed by his own dad.  I knew that story.  But our teaching leader made an interesting comment about Isaac.  He was the “ordinary son of an extraordinary dad, and the ordinary dad of an extraordinary son.” 

He was ordinary.  And yet he played a very important part of God’s plan for the world.  But he didn’t really do anything other than what God told him to do.  Sure, he was a miracle just because of the circumstances of his birth.  But he wasn’t super great like you would expect him to be.  He didn’t command armies, he wasn’t a motivational speaker, he got his riches from his dad, and just worked at his business.  He didn’t put up a fight, he just flowed along with what God wanted.  And yet he earned a spot in the Bible.  He was ordinary.  Like me.  Ok, probably better than me, but you get the point.

Ever since I was little, I can remember people telling me that “you can be anything you want to be.”  My parents always said that I could be a doctor or a lawyer or a CEO, something prestigious and impressive.  They didn’t want ordinary for me.  Commercials on TV said that I could be everything and do everything I wanted because I was a woman and didn’t have to settle for “ordinary.”  And I took that to mean that I HAD to become more than ordinary.  Not just an ordinary mom, or an ordinary housewife or an ordinary nurse or an ordinary wife.  So I try.  I take pride (!) when people tell me that my children are so polite and well behaved.  I push my husband into “talking” and “sharing his feelings” and reading books when the thought of doing any of these things is clearly terrifying for him, because that’s what extraordinary couples do.  I can’t be “just a nurse”, I have to keep furthering my education, become an expert in my field and be the speaker at national conferences that nurses go to.  In order to do that, I have to attend a prestigious nursing school in order to further my education, even though its across the country and costs more that our first house to attend.  My house needs to be spotless in case any of my sister in laws drops by because I know their houses are spotless all the time. It doesn’t matter what the truth really is because n my mind I always thought I had to be better.  More extraordinary.

But God shows us that ordinary is ok.  Really!

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