With the Olympics on, I’m guessing I’m not alone in feeling decidedly average.
I can’t do a three-and-a-half somersault dive. No triple back layouts on the balance beam for me. There has never and will never be a day when I jump a nine-foot fence on a giant thoroughbred.
My greatest sporting accomplishment was an ice hockey state championship in high school, and even then I rode the bench during each game’s most crucial moments. (My little sister started, but then she’s always been more hardcore than me!)
In a week full of broken Olympic records and a world full of faster, better, higher, stronger, it can be easy to feel kind of meh. Beyond the sporting world, Malcolm Gladwell graduated college at 19, J.D. Salinger wrote Catcher in the Rye at 31, and Jesus was completely finished with his ministry by his early 30s.
And I’m all, WHAT HAVE I EVER EVEN DONE WITH MY LIFE?!
Is being a “winner” what Jesus wants for us? Is achieving more and better what he hopes from us? Is striving to be the “best and the brightest” (or the concept behind it) even found anywhere in the Gospel?
Luckily the Gospel was never intended to be flashy, glamorous, or record-breaking. It is just beautiful and pure and true and good. It is a quiet whisper in a screaming world, a firm embrace in a culture of fists and bullets, still waters in an era of raging seas.
This is the life God calls us to in Christ.
As Paul writes:
The Olympics are awesome and inspiring, and I’m staying up WAY too late watching them. Nothing wrong with a little achievement and excellence. But in a world of TMZ and TMI and tabloids, 24-hour news, and bigger-and-better everything, the reminder that the goal Jesus sets before us is quiet and full of thoughtful labor helped my soul.
My mother-in-law always says, “There’s really only just average. You can be high average or low average or average average, but really, there’s just average.”
Thanks be to the God who calls us to live our average lives in the light of his great love.