Living Ordinary Lives Extraordinarily

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:8 ESV

We live our lives in a one-direction sequence – one day, one week, one month, and one year at a time. From the past comes the present, and later the future. We do not have a fast-forward button in our lives, and neither can we rewind and undo the mistakes of the past. Our days are like falling dominoes in a sequence of dominoes of a lifetime. As we walk through our daily lives, God is calling us not just to live and then die – He is calling us to a relationship with Him so we can live now and live forever with Him. That daily falling dominoes of life have value, purpose, and meaning. He is probably not calling us to be great Saints – but we are all being called to be saints in our own little way, in our own little world, and in our own borrowed time. That is all we can do to please God. Are you ready to accept the challenge of living an ordinary life lived extraordinarily? It is not going to be easy, but the rewards are tremendous. Are you willing to pay the price?

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

So How Do You Live an Ordinary Life in an Extraordinary Way?

  1. “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” [Teresa of Calcutta]. God is not probably calling you to start a new movement or be a great preacher, but God wants you to start where you can make a difference – right in your own home. Think of your parents, spouse, children or neighbours. How can you be more loving to each of them? You cannot just change people directly; change starts with you.
  2. Aim to make small differences daily. Continents and islands drift apart a few centimetres a year, but over millions of years, they make a huge difference – they can be thousands of kilometres apart. It is the same way with you – if you want to transform your home, school or your office, start with making small differences daily. Over a period of time, those actions will transform your environment and will become a blessing to everyone.
  3. Think of and do little acts of love – being thoughtful, kind, forgiving, generous, forbearing, understanding, and caring. It also means not judging people and being patient with them. Do as Jesus would in your situation.
  4. Do not worry if you fail at times – if you failed to act lovingly today, decide to change and decide to act lovingly tomorrow. While you are still alive, you will never be perfect; so don’t expect perfection from anyone, including yourself. Like you, people also fail – so be forgiving and understanding even if they do not respond to your acts of love. The measure you set for yourself should be the measure you have for other people too.
  5. Try to make a small difference daily in your life and make it a habit. Thoughts lead to acts; acts lead to habits; habits lead to character, and character leads to destiny. [Ralph Waldo Emerson, rephrased]
  6. There is a price to pay so you can be more loving each day. For love to be real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self. [Mother Teresa of Calcutta]. It will cost your selfishness and your pride – it will be difficult, and it will hurt at times until being loving becomes a lifetime habit. The unredeemed self in us will resist stubbornly, but are you willing to let it die a slow death? Sometimes it looks like it is easier to be a martyr than a saint!
  7. Living an ordinary life extraordinarily will lead to something magnificent – eternal life. There you will appreciate the life you lived – with a difference, not only for you but also for everyone else around you.

Other Scripture passages:

  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [Galatians 5:22-24 ESV]
  • Other references: Galatians 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:31-32; Ephesians 5:2; and Colossians 3:12-14.

For personal reflection or group sharing

  • What one act of love can you think of and do to the one closest to you daily and consistently?
  • Are you willing to pay the cost of living an ordinary life extraordinarily?

Top image credit: photo of a joyful elderly couple greeting two childen and their dad, from, © by nd3000, stock photo ID: 438241520. Used with permission. 

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