the beauty of ordinary.

First published January 8, 2014

“There is no shame in not leaping from a plane. There is no shame in delivering a good batch of non-gourmet chocolate chip cookies.”

I wrote those sentences on January 2, 2014. I was thinking about writing a manifesto, a battle cry of belief. A manifesto is an answer to the question posed on the back of a Radisson hotel in-room coffee wrapper: “That’s our philosophy. What’s yours?”

The manifesto I was thinking about would be called “The beauty of ordinary”. It would speak to all the people who believe that they are just ordinary. It would speak to all the people who hear about people who leap out of planes and think, “That must be necessary to prove you are human.”

And I wrote, “There is no shame in not leaping from a plane.”

Because there are many people who matter to God and to others who have never leaped from a plane. They have never quit a job. They have worked in a cubicle for thirty years. The longest essay they ever wrote was in a graduation card for a child: “Proud of you. Dad.” The furthest they have traveled on a life-altering mission trip is next door. The longest speech they have given was the time that they received a watch for working for the same company for 45 years and they said, “thank you”. They regularly bake chocolate chip cookies and put them in an ordinary Ziplock bag without any holiday decorations and shyly give them to someone at work.

I passionately want those ordinary people to know that a majority of the people who heard Jesus speak and did what he asked never went on the road or wrote a gospel or got mentioned at the end of a letter from Paul. They just loved. As if that ought to be ordinary.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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