Ordinary and greatness are two words you don’t normally put together.
But they go.
I have learnt this.
I have a love hate relationship with the word ordinary.
But I’m drawn to the word greatness because it speaks of a life lived large, of passion and influence.
My heart and mind wanders to the extraordinary, remarkable life I want to live,
Not the routine,
Ordinary one that shows up on my doorstep most days.
But I’m doing a head tilt, making a paradigm shift,
And trying to set the tone for ordinary to infiltrate my life with its unmistakable scent,
Which also happens to be the scent of greatness.
More often that not,
Ordinary breeds greatness.
Although not attention grabbing or flashy,
Ordinary lives produce extraordinary results.
Like my dad’s life.
A life well lived, but not overly remarkable or large,
But absolutely, unequivocally great.
Day in, day out,
He’s in hospitals, transitioning people from this earth to the next.
He’s doing an ordinary job telling people on their deathbeds about a God who most have never known.
He listens to their regrets and their secrets and gives them hope and the promise of forgiveness.
It’s routine, it’s painful in many ways,
But it leads to extraordinary closures for many, many lives.
Before that, he was a pastor.
I remember the day he nearly got killed by a manic guy yielding a fire poker and a gun.
My mum and my brothers and I were hauled up in the house as this man raged in his drug induced state,
Taking his anger out on anyone in the way.
And my dad happened to be in the way.
Always the peace maker,
Always looking to bring the broken back to life.
Before that, he was a 5th generation farmer,
Tending sheep and feeding pigs,
Harvesting wheat and building fences.
The miles of fences he fixed over the years,
Miles and miles…
A solitary figure much of the time on a lonely landscape,
But without him and his ordinary fixing of fences,
Of driving yet another pole into the ground,
The sheep would have scattered and the year’s earnings lost.
There are no lights or bells and whistles,
No platform from which he is given commendations or declared as an extraordinary man for doing such things.
No one would know what my dad does because he is of the pre-social media generation.
His extraordinary moments are not documented, proclaimed from the platforms of Facebook for all to see.
What would he write I wonder?
‘Oh yes!! Another soul now bound for heaven!!! (insert photo) Smiley face. (insert hashtag) #heavenbound’
He wouldn’t even know what a hashtag was.
But in my world,
What he does is extraordinary.
He is a man of Greatness.
And it’s often in the behind-closed-doors life,
The unseen ordinary,
Where our level of extraordinary or greatness is determined.
I decided a while ago that I and all of my household are bound for greatness.
And greatness a lot of the time means doing the ordinary, daily grind,
The hard things that others despise,
The things that aren’t pretty or glamorous or particularly grand…
That aren’t photo worthy or Facebook status ‘update-able,’
Because they’re boring!
And that’s the truth.
But there’s nothing wrong with boring, or ordinary,
Because in the ordinary doing I find that my life is developing character and substance,
It’s being seasoned with compassion and grace.
The beauty of ordinary is that I get to see the fabric of life at a microscopic level,
Like when I tuck my kids into bed and smell their cheeks as I kiss them goodnight,
Or see my kitchen clean after doing the dishes and know that it will bless my family,
Or know that my words have bought peace to a heart in turmoil,
Or filled the fruit bowl up with nutritious fruit so my kids stay healthy.
All ordinary endeavours,
But essential to the development of a great life.
It’s in the ordinary everyday moments that my soul submits to a greater Power,
And I realise that my ordinary is actually carving greatness.
And it’s then that ordinary isn’t so scary anymore and if I give it a chance,
I may be surprised at just how fertile it is for greatness and the extraordinary.