We were in the car on the way home and the song "We Are Young" by Fun came on the radio. I heard the lyrics "We are young so let's set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun," and I started thinking. I turned 40 in June, and I don't think I qualify as young when it comes to the lyrics of this song.
I remember graduating from college, thinking I was going to change the world. I had a list of so many things that I was going to do. As I drove, I reflected on the things I've done in the 20 years since I graduated, and I realized I haven't done anything the world would consider extraordinary. For a moment, I felt a bit defeated. What happened to that energetic young girl who was going to set the world on fire?
But then I looked in the rearview mirror, and I saw a curly head in my backseat. I heard the happy sound of my daughter telling me about softball practice. And I realized that my "ordinary life" is nothing to sneeze at.
I may not be writing best sellers or saving the world one rainforest at a time, but I am raising two kids. I love my husband. I make their world a safe and happy place. I have a little corner of the Internet where I can share the things on my heart with all of you, and I have jobs that I enjoy.
Doctor Who is my favorite TV show (my kids and husband would tell you I'm slightly obsessed and are probably rolling their eyes as they read this). I love the show because it is incredibly well-written. But I think I love it most because the hero is this guy (an alien called a Time Lord) who can control all of time and space, yet the one thing he longs for is an ordinary existence. One of my favorite lines in the show is when the Doctor is talking to a couple about to get married as time comes apart around them. He asks them how they met, and they tell him they met on a street corner waiting for a cab. He says, "Street corner, two in the morning, getting a taxi home. I've never had a life like that."
And I think we should all be a bit more like the hero of my favorite TV show, longing for those ordinary moments, that ordinary life. Instead of looking at the day to day of our lives as boring and ordinary, we should view it as the important thing that it is. God put us in a certain place for a reason. He entrusted these kids to us. God wants us to live every ordinary day as the adventure He designed it to be.
If God didn't think ordinary was important, He surely would have found a more extraordinary way to send His Son into the world. He would have chosen someone more important to be Jesus' parents than a simple carpenter and a teenage girl. If God didn't think ordinary was important, He would have figured out a more headline-grabbing way to save the world.
We may not be making headlines in the world, but we are always making headlines at home. Our ordinary lives are important to those around us. Our ordinary days are the ones our kids will remember.
We don't have to be people who burn brighter than the sun so that the whole world can see us. We just have to burn brighter than the sun in our own ordinary world to the ordinary people around us. God asks us to be a light to the world, but He doesn't ask every one of us to do so in a hugely public way. He simply asks us to follow Him where He leads. For some people, that may be the world stage. For the rest of us, it's in our ordinary lives, on our ordinary street, with our ordinary friends.
God simply calls us to do whatever we're doing to the best of our ability for Him. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23)." As long as we're doing what we do with the right attitude, it's all important. It doesn't matter if it's ordinary or if anyone ever sees what we do. God sees, and God loves us and our ordinary lives.