I attended my son’s awards day last week which reminded me of my school days. Most of the time I didn’t win any awards. I wasn’t the smartest. I wasn’t the best athlete. I wasn’t the most popular.
I was average.
I was smart enough to get decent grades and hang with the smart kids at times but I wasn’t into nerdy games like Dungeons and Dragons. I was cut from the basketball team at 15 years old but then spent many nights playing basketball with guys on the team. I definitely wasn’t rich but had a junky car at 16 and a paper route in order to have a little spending money.
I was average.
Most of us were not in the 10% of the smartest or not so smart kids in the class. That’s 80% of us who where neither award winners or failures. We didn’t win the goal metal. Or the silver. Or the bronze. But we could and still can run in the race.
Paul encourages us to love one another in 1 Thes 4 and then says:
But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
I don’t think aspiring to “live quietly” will ever make it as a slogan for Nike or become the title of a new self-help book. And though we are called to live passionate, energetic lives, for most of us, this will include getting married, providing leadership in a local church, serving our family and neighbors, working a normal job and leading an average life.
God is working in our communities through average people doing regular, everyday activities for His glory. Yes, there are the 10% who are gifted in special ways but that’s not most of us. Most of us are average, but as a follower of Jesus, we do our “average” activities not for ourselves but for the sake of the Lord and those around us.
I am average. And I’m praying for a lot more average people to understand their calling before God.
But there’s another name for average.
It’s called normal.