As my brain continues to wrestle with the closing of a chapter in my career and wondering what the next one holds, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reading and praying.

As my time at GLA is down to less than a week,  as we finish up the details on my last project on behalf of the kids at GLA, I’ve been reading and re-reading an article that Ann Voskamp wrote.   I’m going to write a couple of different blog posts about the parts that speak to me.   I hope you’ll read the whole article.

Ann talks in the article about the importance to your spirit to giving yourself time to be creative.     She also offers 7 keys to how to be more creative and nurture your own soul when you do.    I’m not going to write about all of them, but on the ones that hit home the most to me.

“Quit trying to fit. Why try to squeeze all your extraordinary into ordinary?”

I’m part of a Facebook group that was started by author and motivational speaker (understatement) and humorist, Jon Acuff.   The group consists of over 2,000 people with one common goal in mind.   We all are, in one way or another, dissatisfied with the ordinary.    Our dreams and aspirations are as different as the people that you see walking through O’Hare airport.   But we all believe that we can do something extraordinary – and most of us believe that God has called us to do something more than the ordinary.

So, what does the ordinary look like?   It’s different for everyone – kind of ironic isn’t it?   But the ordinary is when you try to fit into a box that’s made for someone else.   The ordinary is when you don’t look for ways to be part of what God’s up to.   

The ordinary is when you don’t live your life in a way that is pleasing to God.   There’s a guy I go to church with who drives a truck as his “job” but he’s anything but an ordinary truck driver.   I have heard so many stories about how he has shared his faith and has been a witness for God.   He’s definitely not squeezing his extraordinary into the ordinary – he’s taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

So what does that mean looking forward?

  • I believe that God has shown, in my time at GLA, that He can use me to help accomplish extraordinary things.   I’m not even going to mention any particular stories because I’d run the risk of forgetting or leaving some out. 
  • I had the opportunity on Saturday to spend an hour talking with a  dear friend who is taking a totally different and fresh view of mission work.   I’ll have more thoughts about what that means – but to figure out how that view is extraordinary and how it might translate into what God wants me to do takes time.
  • In order to truly understand what God wants, not only for me but for all of us, takes time.   And it takes quiet listening.  
  • And one of the hard things is that while it takes “being still” and quiet listening to God, the needs are still there.

But I know this, taking the time to be still, taking the time to let God use the extraordinary in you and in me will make a significantly bigger difference than if we settle for the ordinary.

I don’t plan on settling for the ordinary – do you?

Tom