As far as New Year's Resolutions go, my desire to "Embrace the Ordinary" in 2013 may seem, well, ordinary. Don't be fooled by this goal for 2013. It does not say "Embrace Mediocrity" or "Embrace Boredom" or "Embrace 2nd Best".
I am embracing my ordinary family. My darling wife of seventeen years. The one woman I have ever really loved and felt close to. The wife and mother of my three ordinary sons. My sons whom I play with, wrestle with, take to sport, take to the beach, discipline and get disappointed with.
I am embracing my ordinary mission. To teach, to minister into the lives of Grade Seven and Eight students this year. The English, History and Physical Education lessons I teach may be ordinary, but each lesson gives me a chance to showcase knowledge, mental and physical fitness, and an opportunity to exhibit who I am as a follower of Christ.
I am embracing my ordinary health. I am fit. I play Masters AFL. I play Basketball. I have asthma, but I embrace each breath, even when it might be hard to get air into my lungs. I surf, even when the surf is ordinary and I am surfing ordinary, I embrace the chance to live this life on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The Christian life is never ordinary. But I embrace this chance to live each day as an ordinary Christian. One who prays, listens, reads, waits and reflects. God doesn't need me to show how "cool" this Christian life can be, He needs me to be who I have been called to be.
We often spend so much time trying to convince ourselves and others that the Christian life is extraordinary, we often miss the ordinary. We spend our time defending the Gospel rather than living it. We spend our time judging the failures of others to live to certain expectations we often forget to love people no matter where they're at.
If God can change ordinary Russell, surely He can change others
My walk with Jesus and the journey He is taking me on is not ordinary. My conversion to Christ was not ordinary to me. Conversion and ordinary should never be used in the same sentence. My testimony may not be written about in the annals of Christian history. It may not have me on the speaking circuit, but I have an experience of Christ changing my life into something much more than ordinary.
He has given me hope.
Hope for my life. Hope for the lives of my family, friends, the students I teach, the men I play AFL and Basketball with and my neighbours. Others around me need to see the hope I have found in following Jesus. It's just not about me.
I've already had an ordinary start to 2013. And I love it.
I am ready to embrace each and every day, circumstance and routine I find myself in this year. I may not have many chances to produce a PowerPoint, write an Annual Report or give an update to others, but when I pick up the milk from the local servo, put out the bins on a Thursday, turn up to work Monday to Friday, walk through the front door of my home, lace up the boots/shoes for Sport, wax the board before a surf, eat my food and live my ordinary daily life- I embrace this glorious, ordinary life God has granted me.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html