In and amongst the awful news these days there are some inspiring stories; like the story of the hundreds of people who showed kindness to the person in the car behind them as they paid for their order, or the viral ‘ice bucket challenge’ as people are calling out friends to douse and donate, making people aware of the deadly ALS disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.) . Now sure some are joining in for more selfish reasons, but regardless these ordinary actions are creating extraordinary movements.
The Starbucks kindness chain received national news as it encouraged people to think of others and for all of us to be a bit more benevolent. The ice bucket challenge has caused nearly two million people to donate to ALS, made the world more aware of this disease, and has brought in over 80 million dollars! What is interesting is these movements became extraordinary not by some hero rushing in to save the day or some philanthropists giving out of their surplus…no it was just ordinary people doing some ordinary things (well, dumping ice on their head may not be that normal, but it is surely not some heroic move). However these average moves have made astonishing movements.
This reminds me of one such occurrence recorded in the Bible, where an ordinary move turned extraordinary. It’s a story found in all four Gospel accounts; Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-15, it is called the ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand.’ Yes Jesus did miraculously transform five loaves of barley bread and two dried and prepared fish to feed the masses, but as John’s account mentions, it came from a normal little boy’s mundane lunch.
John 6:9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”
Andrew (one of the Disciples) found this lad with his lunch and even remarked to its less-then-amazing sufficiency. Yet this little guy’s lunch opened up thousands to experience a miracle from Jesus and fueling the movement (that still lasts today) of people curious about Christ Jesus.
What is interesting is that most people feel their contributions or actions are less-then-amazing and most certainly insufficient, leading many people to do nothing. We hear of immense needs, enormous projects, gigantic venture and we think our little insignificant act does nothing, so we don’t or hold back or just ignore it. Yet this is not the truth, nor is it reality. Helen Keller an incredible woman that became deaf and blind at 19 months, cutting her off from language, learning, communication, and any hope of life outside of a full-care institution, was empowered through the everyday teaching of Anne Sullivan to become an extraordinary author, speaker, and activists for those with disabilities. Helen Keller said, “The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
We can be part of the tiny ‘ordinary’ pushes of us normal people. Look at the extraordinary movement from this ice bucket challenge, it’s amazing. How different our world would be if we just did some ordinary actions; getting to know our neighbors, inviting a friend to church, helping in our kid’s or grandkid’s school, praying for others, showing Jesus’ love to someone in need, being a little more financially generous to your church, giving a little more of your time to a ministry of your church, purging your house and closets of unused items and donating them, and the list goes on.
Mother Teresa said this, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” So let’s do some more ordinary loving moves today and see how God turns them into extraordinary movements.
Seeking to make ordinary moves with you as we see God turn them into extraordinary movements,
PS As you read this I would like to ask for your ordinary prayers as our church (Cypress Church) is facing some financial short falls. It’s not drastic, but this last month of summer has been difficult as people are away on holiday and our reserves are very low. We have had an awesome summer with many children and students coming to faith, incredible mission trips, our new Branch church growing, our Cambodian branch church growing, and many new families joining our church. I know God will use your prayers, so please pray and if you feel so inclined you can go to our website and donate www.cypresschurch.net. Just click the ‘giving’ tab. Who knows God may use your ordinary gift to not only help us get through this lean time, but do the extraordinary and provide more…and maybe even to the uber-extraordinary where we could do something like pay off our church mortgage! How awesome would that be?!?