Recently a friend wrote an interesting thought on her blog: "I have really begun to realize that I am no one special...I always used to think I was going to change the world someday. Well, I've just realized I'm never going to change the world. I'm just not. BUT...the world is changing me."
This statement is profound, because it takes so many of us a long time to figure this out. So many people are still waiting to change the world, and they are so unhappy with their current state of life. We tell ourselves, "If I was only doing this...then things would be different." We wait...and wait...and wait.
This friend and I grew up in similar circles, and we were told from a young age - "God is going to use you to change the world!" Yet many of us are still waiting. We haven't changed much at all.
Two years ago at Catalyst, Erwin McManus spoke on this very topic. He stated that we look at people like Moses and David and Paul - the people who really did change the world - and we get frustrated that God isn't using us like that. We start to feel like we must have done something wrong; we must be missing His calling somehow. But then he started to share about how God uses just ordinary people, and the Bible is full of ordinary people just like us.
It is hard to realize that we are ordinary.
In a culture where 26% of teenagers expect to be famous by age 25 (source), and 54% want to be famous when they are old (source), it is no wonder that these teenagers will grow up one day and be dissatisfied with their lives if they have not reached some level of fame. As Christians, we can easily fall into this mentality as well.
Head over to any church conference and you will overhear questions such as "How big is your church?" or "How many books have you written?" We read books on "Platforms" and influence, and somehow equate Twitter followers and Facebook friends as evidence that we are changing lives and influencing others. We start to believe that these things will make us more than "just ordinary."
Maybe we all need to get to the point that my friend is at; the point where we realize that we're nobody special and we're not going to change the world. Maybe we need to stop telling our young people that God will change the world through them, because even if He doesn't, it's okay. When we get frustrated that God isn't using us to change the world, we are likely more focused on ourselves than we are on Him.
Being ordinary is okay, because God uses ordinary people. He may not use us in the way we had hoped; we may not be famous; we may not reach our goal of Twitter-followers and Facebook friends. Yet if we are taking our eyes off of ourselves and keeping them on Him, then He will use us right where we are - even in an audience of 1. Even in an audience of 3 children at home. Even in an audience of 23 adults who sit to hear you preach on a Sunday morning. Even in a classroom of children who don't seem to be listening.
Take heart - most of us are just ordinary, and that's right where God wants us to be.