I had a fear of living an “ordinary life”

I used to worry that I was playing it too safe, that I needed something different. Then God showed me something new …

Written by Mark Shelley
I had a fear of living an “ordinary life”

A fear developed inside me that my life has been “too ordinary.” That I’ve played it too safe and definitely not done enough. I found myself being very discontent with just an average life. I drifted towards thoughts like moving to a completely different environment for a year to “have it tough,” and go through what I saw as “real trials” in life to really make it. I wondered, how could God really put a stamp on someone who has just lived such a plain, ordinary life?

I felt like I was never doing enough to prove myself, and this weight tainted the joy I could experience in everyday life. It was a burden. Then I heard something that put this fear in the light:

“Our life is a little speck of time, and God has to do this tremendous work of transformation in that little time He has.”

It’s God that has to do this work in me; He is in control. He wants to do something with my life – He wants me to be conformed to the image of His Son! (Romans 8:29.) My eyes were really enlightened that God cares so much about accomplishing this work in me, that He’s planned every situation, every single day, perfectly just for me. And it’s the “ordinary,” mundane things of life that are exactly where God can bring me to all the fullness of Christ! (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 4:13.)

There are things in my flesh that are not as they should be. I find things in my nature like laziness, selfishness, superficiality. Whether I am in extreme circumstances or just living a quiet life, these things will manifest themselves in one way or another. And they have to be cleansed out and replaced by something new, and God does not require extreme circumstances in order to be able to do this work. In the everyday situations of life He shows me what is in my nature, and what I need to do to overcome that.

Cleaning up the dishes instead of lying on the couch after a meal. Asking how it’s really going with the others, instead of going on and on about my day and problems. Being genuinely happy for someone that perhaps goes on more vacations than me, has a bigger house or a better job, instead of being bitter and envious. All these simple things are choices I get to make and an opportunity to not do my own will, but to be obedient when God shows me something that needs to change in my life. When I deny myself, then I make room for Christ to fill me with His life and virtues. A life of His virtues is what makes it heaven on earth.

It is God’s work and plan to bring me into such a glorious life, and I can completely put that in His hands and not be afraid of living the “ordinary life” He has prepared for me. What I need to be concerned about is holding myself close to Him in all my situations so I can hear His promptings and obey with speed.

God is excited to use such an “ordinary life” to do a complete transforming work in. And that life is as far from ordinary as it gets!

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.