Brooke Norton | Student Ministries Administrative Assistant
“I’m bored.” We’ve all said this. We’ve all experienced the lack of interest in something. We’ve all been disengaged and unenthusiastic about where we are in life. And perhaps we’ve been unimpressed with our current situations and with ourselves. We thought we’d be more successful, more of an inspiration, more of a role model, and well… more than just ordinary.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Perhaps it was a movie star, a firefighter, a teacher, or the president! The possibilities were endless! From the time I was 3 years old I began to dream. The jobs I wanted ranged from a model, to the next Spice Girl, to a makeup artist, to a wedding planner after seeing that movie with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez! Now at 23 years old, I can’t imagine having a better job! I am in ministry, and I love what I get to do! I love that I get to listen to the stories of people who are broken and lead them to a radical encounter with Jesus. Although, I started to believe the lie that I was just ordinary and that ordinary wasn’t good enough. Because of this, I began to lack passion, and that phrase, “I’m bored,” began to roll off my tongue way too easily.
Recently, I have been challenged by a study that I am doing by Jennie Allen called Restless. She poses a question that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind the past few weeks. Jennie says that we forget normal, mundane, and ordinary can be “eternal” if we believe that Jesus is real. She asks, “What if the boring starts to feel like it was intentional?” If we allow Jesus to be the driving force behind our life, then our ordinary lives should start to have eternal impact by the interactions we’re having with the people around us. This is what changed my perspective for me in ministry.
Could it really be as simple as that? Could it really be that I don’t have to be recognized by everyone to have an impact on the world? I can be who God has created me to be. I can be normal. And I can be myself. All at the same time, I can live passionately for Jesus. Could it be as simple as having conversations with my neighbors? Or continually developing a relationship with my local barista at the Starbucks I go to every single day? Or being patient with my husband when I don’t want to be? It could mean going above and beyond my normal tasks at work to stay late and help a coworker out. Or maybe it’s mentoring a student to be a leader in their current situations in life.
Romans 12:9-11 says,
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
I love this passage because I think it challenges us to be genuine people, never lacking passion. It challenges us to fight the desire to say, “I’m bored” and embrace the mundane. It challenges us to breathe with Jesus and allow his passion to run through our veins! The Kingdom of God is near, and if we allow apathy to reign over our lives, we’ll miss it! Apathetic people, myself included, tend to lose sight of the influence they have in the world. They forget simple actions can affect someone’s eternity. Today, I encourage you to think about your passions. Have you given up on them? Have you put them on a shelf and forgotten that they’re still right in front of you? God has designed you for more! Don’t give up on your passions, never stop dreaming, and don’t forget that being ordinary can have eternal impact on the Kingdom of God.