Making friends as an adult

I Don’t Want To Change The World

I want to dare to be average.

Often I’m consumed with meeting this strange, elusive standard I’ve dreamt up.

Absorbed with doing more, being better, ticking off more boxes on my to-do list.

But what if I decided to be average instead?

If I chose to instead face each day not seeking to meet this oh-so-high standard but instead present in the moment. Seeking to enjoy it. Aware. Grateful for the second rather than fleeing toward the next task.

I think that sounds pretty great.

The only problem is I have no idea how to do that.

Why is average bad?

Ironically, I would absolutely describe my life as average. It’s not exceptional or adventurous or overwhelmingly productive.

But even though I am average and my life is average, I struggle with constantly feeling bad about it.

Because it seems everywhere I look — both inside and outside of the church — I’m force-fed an idea about needing to change the world. I have to find my calling. I have a particular gift to offer this world.

And in my mind, “changing the world” and “having a calling” looks a certain way.

In fact, it just so happens to look like that elusive standard of the perfect, always productive and useful woman who always gives herself selflessly and never needs anything.

Furthermore, “changing the world” as part of that elusive standard has to be FLASHY. It should be NOTICEABLE.

Average, everyday acts of grace aren’t enough. Doing my best in each moment through the power of Christ isn’t enough.

Why not again?

The lost art of daily faithfulness

I think it’s because daily faithfulness just isn’t cool enough.

Or maybe it’s because daily faithfulness is more difficult.

In the words of Oswald Chambers:

“It is easier to be an excessive fanatic than to be consistently faithful, because God causes an amazing humbling of our religious conceit when we are faithful to Him.” 

And yet oddly enough, daily faithfulness is what I see most often detailed in the Bible.

Sure, people like Daniel had extraordinary moments in the lion’s den. But he also had years and years and years of quiet faithfulness at his job and in his relationship with God.

There were also oodles of other examples of this, such as Priscilla and Aquila, Abigail, Dorcas — even Miriam in the Old Testament would fall within that.

Is changing the world about God?

The real question I’ve grappled over the last few months is whether or not my desire to change the world is really about God.

When I think about it, I see that too often I don’t want to be faithful in the everyday things. I want the BIG things, the noticeable things.

Because it really isn’t about glorifying God.

It’s about me being significant. Me being worthwhile. Me being missed when I’m gone.

While the desire to change the world may start off as a good thing, in my heart, it’s all-too-easily twisted into being all about me.

A good reason to be average

However, being average — focusing on daily faithfulness — can be quite the antidote to that.

Because in the common, everyday acts of kindness toward others, you miss a lot of the accolades.

There’s not applause when you make your husband’s lunch or you help out a coworker with a project but you don’t have to do so.

There’s not an “attaboy” whenever you bite your tongue — through the power of Christ alone — and don’t say the cruel thing you want to say, the thing you’re *justified* in saying. And instead, you forgive.

There’s no, “you’ve-changed-the-world” plaque when you smile at cashiers and pray for them on your way out of the store.

Those things are too average. Too boring. Not worth bragging about.

But they matter.

They make a difference.

Even if the biggest difference I see over the years is in my own heart, as God continues to teach me humility and grace for each moment.

So I don’t want to change the world anymore.

I want to be average.

Average is the new standard.

Care to join me?

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