Most of our lives exist in the realm of ordinary. Work. Eat. Family time. Sleep. Days blend one into another as ordinary keeps us moving through life.
Ordinary makes up most of life, and don’t we find comfort there? Comfort in routines and habits and traditions. Comfort knowing that even amidst a constantly changing world, some things endure without change.
For most of his life on earth, Jesus lived a very ordinary life. He walked from place to place. He went to weddings. He took naps. He rested and refreshed as needed. He learned a trade. He travelled with his family. Yes, Jesus largely lived an ordinary life.
We know some details about Jesus’ life as a baby (Luke 1:1-2:40), and we know just a little about him as a young boy (Luke 2:41-51). But we know very little about his life in between those times and up until the extraordinary times that were the last three years of his life as a man on earth.
But here’s what we do know about that relatively obscure time in Jesus’ life:
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52 – NIV)
This verse sums up well how the ordinary part of Jesus’ life prepared him for the extraordinary. Jesus shows us that, handled properly, the ordinary prepares us for the extraordinary that life serves up from time to time. The work and play done in the ordinary moments teaches and strengthens us for the challenge of the extraordinary.
The application? Enjoy the ordinary moments. Realize that living in the extraordinary would exhaust us. Consider that the ordinary allows us to truly know the extraordinary. In fact, the ordinary prepares us for the extraordinary.
And, as the ordinary parts of our lives flow one into another, we can look back and see that many of those ordinary moments were extraordinary after all. Your kids’ laughter. An evening walk with your spouse. Bedtime prayers and family game nights. Those ordinary events contributed to growth in wisdom, strength and favor in ways only the extraordinary can reveal.
DISCUSSION: Think back over the ordinary moments of your life. What stands out now as truly extraordinary?