Being Ordinary is a Good Thing

Monday. The familiar grind begins again. The alarm clock screams you awake at 0-dark-30, and you haul yourself out of bed, wincing as you step on some pointy plastic toy on the way downstairs. You take stock of the morning. The dog needs to go outside. The milk in the fridge is sour. The leaky washer still needs to be repaired. Glancing out the window, you notice that your neighbour parked his extra car in front of your driveway — again.

Mortgage payments, diapers, traffic jams, gray cubicle walls, gutters that need to be cleaned — as a youth dreaming about the future, did you ever picture it this way? Perhaps, like me, you dreamed of greater things: finding a cure for cancer, flying a fighter jet or winning the Super Bowl. We marvelled at men like Chuck Yeager, John Wayne, Neil Armstrong, the Rev. Billy Graham. Such high hopes to accomplish something great, to leave a mark on the world! What happened?

For most of us, what happened is reality. Hoping to find fame and fortune, normalcy found us instead. But is that such a bad thing? I used to think so. For years I sought recognition and accomplishment, convinced that I was meant to be somebody. However, the Lord interrupted that pursuit, forcing me to come face to face with a simple but often forgotten truth: God and man view success in different terms. The world values accomplishments and appearances, influence and wealth. God looks at the heart, the integrity of a man. Whose approval was I seeking?

Looking through Scripture, it’s easy to see that God has a certain fondness for the everyday man. Farmers and fishermen, tent makers and tax collectors, husbands and fathers — God often chooses to use “average Joes” to accomplish His will. Such men find significance in serving God and loving our families. We make an eternal impact as we reflect God’s character to our wives and children. Who cares if a man ever climbs Everest, plays pro football or makes a million dollars before he’s 40? Is he any less of a man if he serves his family instead of serving himself? Not a chance.

The average Joe who finds his significance in Christ is a steadfast model of faith, honour and character. He goes home at night to his wife and children. He mows the lawn, fixes the deck, reads to his kids, listens patiently to his wife and serves his Lord. He doesn’t expect to get rich or famous. He finds contentment in knowing that the One whose opinion really counts is pleased with him.

This article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was titled "Average Joe." The article was adapted from Average Joe: God’s Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men Copyright © 2011 by Troy Meeder. Used by permission of Multnomah Books.