…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:19-21
Today’s invitation is to “The Extraordinary Life.”
This idea has been somewhat of a theme for me since I was young. I know all kids construct daydreams around being famous, hitting the home run at the critical moment, scoring the winning goal, saving the day, exploring unknown parts, walking in a ticker-tape-parade, being given a standing ovation.
I had my share of such fantasies.
However, apart from the usual hero dreams I also understood early on how my role as a child of God made me extraordinarily special in every detail of my life. I have always known, somehow, that God not only intended great things for me but that he expects greatness in the ordinariness of the everyday.
It was inconsequential, then, for me to make the newspaper headlines compared to exhibiting greatness in my role as a husband; winning teacher of the year pales versus being the presence of Christ in my classroom; a Pulitzer for journalism is less important in the great scheme of things than my column reaching just that one person with the right word of encouragement; and, what good would winning Ballon d’Or achieve if I wasn’t ranking close to the top of my game as a dad?
God’s call for me – for all of us – is to be extraordinary in the middle of the ordinariness that is regular, routine, run-of-the-mill life. Only, with Jesus, life is nowhere near boring and absolutely bursting with possibility.
Of course it has taken me six decades to get a good grasp of what this means, how to implement God’s call to the extraordinary; and I am still, continually, finding all sorts of room for improvement.
So this morning, when I sat down at my desk to write, the small framed sketch I’ve featured here jumped out at me. Our son, Andrew, was eight-years-old at the time, and I don’t know what prompted him to put pen to paper. I’m just glad Rebekah saved his drawing and put it in a frame for me.
“Not the Ordinary Dad,” the caption reads, “But Mine.” And the “but mine” is underlined!
Yes, that looks like steam coming out of my ears, and that may well be a frown on my face, along with angry eyebrows, plus I’m carrying a variety of weaponry – but evidently I am no ordinary dad!
God has called us all to move away from mediocre, blasé, settling, make do, so-so, second rate, half-hearted, and inconsequential. Our opportunity, our imperative, our calling… is to shatter expectations and to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to God’s power that is at work within us.
And – in this – may we all know this love that surpasses knowledge, and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.