Between ordinary and extraordinary
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phrase, “God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” While I’ve written on this topic before in my post, “In Defense of Ordinary” in which I make the point that God uses ordinary people to do ordinary things, but ordinary things really matter. This time I’m coming at it from a different angle and I’d like to enlist my readers for some input.
The problem with the “ordinary people…extraordinary things” idea is that once ordinary people do extraordinary things, then they are no longer considered ordinary, which begs the question whether they were really ever that ordinary to begin with. Another problem is that the examples are so far removed from the every day Christian experience, they hardly seem relevant. Case in point…when was the last time you or I walked on water or healed a crippled person from our shadow? I don’t think any of us, at least not anybody I know personally, can call Peter ordinary. If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll probably have to admit that normally, God uses “extraordinary” people to do “extraordinary things.” In my mind, people like Moses, David, Peter, and Paul fall into this category. This doesn’t mean that extraordinary people don’t have ordinary faults or don’t often come from ordinary beginnings, it just means that extraordinary lives come from extraordinary people.
What I’m lookin at now are examples in the Scriptures in between ordinary and extraordinary. Examples where an ordinary person does something either extraordinary or something just a cut above average, and, yet remains ordinary.
The first example that comes to mind is Ananias. Here is an ordinary disciple who God uses to baptize the Apostle Paul….and then we never hear about him again. To me, Ananias is a perfect example of an individual who falls into the category somewhere in between ordinary and extraordinary. Ananias did something extraordinary, but remained an ordinary person. Could it be that the Holy Spirit put this story in the Bible to show us that even people who are truly ordinary can occasionally do something extraordinary and remain ordinary at the same time? I don’t know about you, but I’m glad there are characters like Ananias in the Bible. If all we had were Peters and Pauls and Davids, there really wouldn’t be much hope for the vast majority of the human race who long to transcend run-of-the-mill ordinary existence.
I’m sure there are many, perhaps better, stories in the Bible to illustrate this point. Can you think of any?