In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV).
There is beauty in commonness, simplicity. Indeed, there are vastly more common, simple people than there are beautiful, self-anointed celebrities, athletes, or glitterati. Not hating on them; Jesus loves celebrities, athletes, and self-anointed glitterati, too. But they aren’t common or seemingly holy (or useful) anymore.
My wife and I took our 30th anniversary trip last week to Tennessee and then to northern Kentucky (where we honeymooned in 1989). We struggled for years to make it to other anniversaries so we determined to mark this one with a memorable trip. No marriage is perfect; ours hasn’t been; if you’re a long-time reader here, you know that. But we’re common people; ordinary Americans making our country, our families, and our lives extraordinary by living faith-based lives that God gave us. We follow Jesus. We learn from our failures. We make the most out of what we have.
So we took a trip to the Smokies, line-danced in Nashville (where we also toured the Grand Ole Opry, seriously one of the best tours ever anywhere), walked through the Ark Encounter, sipped our way through a bourbon distillery, and even went to the Kentucky Derby (where we placed a bet for our grand-daughter on the long-shot horse that eventually won).
Along the way we met other common people like ourselves, good ordinary folks living those extraordinary lives. People like Steve and Paula (and Todd) at a Jimmy Buffett concert. Or Mark and Gina at a winery near Lexington. Austen at Maker’s Mark; Clark and Kathleen and their friends from Florida at Dolly’s (Dixie) Stampede; clerks, attendants, waiters and waitresses and people on hiking trails you greet with a nod and a smile. All of them: common, good people just doing their best to live godly lives and being friendly.
You know: like Jesus is. You know: just plain old wood and clay tools, made ordinary and common by the Master to live extraordinary, uncommon lives in His Kingdom. All together, we make the world go ‘round.
Don’t get me wrong: I like silver and gold. The few pieces of it I own are wonderful; heirlooms I enjoy and will gladly pass along to my kids and grandkids. But, once upon a time, even silver and gold were common elements underground. They’re extraordinary, too, and attractive. But they aren’t common. And they don’t make things really work. You and I: we’re common. There’s a place and a purpose for each of us, celebrity or commoner alike. That purpose is in Jesus’ work.
For further reading: 2 Corinthians 9:8, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Timothy 2:22.
Lord Jesus, thank You for using common me in Your Kingdom work.