“The real tragedy of life is not in being limited to one talent, but in the failure to use the one talent.” (Edgar W. Work)
It’s all very well to be impressed by the contributions that are made by the world’s leaders, the great men and women, the five talent people who do things, and do things well, and who usually get the notice, the publicity, the praise and the rewards. But what we are inclined to forget is that behind those people there are many ordinary men and women whose names are never in print, whose faces are never seen on film or television, but whose quiet unassuming labour makes the works of the leaders possible.
The vast majority of people fall into the two-talent class, the useful hosts of mediocrity, the average, ordinary, men and women who are always taken for granted, but without whom nothing could ever be achieved. They are willing to play second fiddle. They know that they will not be singled out for honours or medals. They have a job to do, and they are willing to do it without complaint, and often with a devotion and loyalty of the highest order. The quiet achievers.
Significant Christians – the extraordinary writers, speakers, evangelists, teachers, musicians – their lives and testimonies seemed anything but ordinary. They are people of depth, dynamism and devotion. They are people who don’t work in mediocre jobs with regular hours, people who don’t seem to have kids and a mortgage, people whose churches aren’t small and unspectacular. We tend to believe that great Christian lives are not lived in the context of the ordinary.
Yet great Christian lives are those which are obedient to the Word of God. There are countless examples of people who started out being quite ordinary, yet because of their obedience to God they are now numbered among the ‘greats’.
So as ordinary people on an ordinary day, what can we look forward to with excitement and anticipation is the opportunity to engage with the extraordinary God. You may be very discontented with yourself. You may consider that you are no genius, have no special gifts, and are inconspicuous for any special faculty. You may consider that mediocrity is the law of your existence, that your days are remarkable for nothing but sameness and the ordinary. But we are doing more good that we know, sowing seeds, starting trickles that merge into streams, then rivers, giving others true thoughts of Christ to which one day they will refer because His Word will not return void.
You see, it’s the ordinary people of this world who carry on the work of the nation, the church, and of God.. All the five talent men and women have flashed like meteors through the skies, leaving behind a trail of glory. After their great gifts for organisation and revival, after all their visions and their plans, they depend on the others to do the work.
On a cruise from the UK back to Australia in 2016 where I ended up in a hospital bed in Dubai, we held a group bible study on sea days. It was a great time of worship but of particular note were the testimonies we were encouraged to share. What we heard were some memorable stories from ordinary people, stories that reinforced that belief that we all make a significant contribution to the kingdom. What matters in a day is not whether or not it seems dull and ordinary, or whether or not we consider ourselves to be dull and ordinary, but whether or not we relate to and open ourselves to the extraordinary God.
Be encouraged, and have a good week, Pastor Ron
Optional Bible reading: James 2:14-26.
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-fifth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send to [email protected] with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions.
Pastor Ron Clarke OAM
Word for the Week
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