Today a friend was talking about her 50th birthday.
It makes me wonder if I am ever going to do anything significant, she said.
I believe that for me, the answer is no.
I used to think that I was going to be exceptional. At what, I was less sure, but I really thought that someday, somehow, I would be.... known for something.
I know I have posted before about my exceptional parents. I grew up thinking that everyone had parents that were well known. I grew up thinking that it was expected that you would accomplish at least one extraordinary thing in your life.
Some of my parent's exceptional friends seem to have had exceptional offspring. One is releasing his 4th or 5 album this month. Another just won a genius grant from the MacArthur folks. (He is, incidentally, the second one of his exceptionally talented family to snag that particular distinction.)
And since I have posted about this before, it might seem like I am obsessing, but since my friend brought it up, I decided that I really need to set the record straight.
I am not exceptional, except perhaps in my fondness for junk television and fascination with historical travelogues of West Africa. (I love you, Mungo Park. Hope to meet you on the other side some day.)
I think that it was the King himself who finally lifted the burden of exceptional from me. Jesus pointed to the beauty of ordinariness. He calls us to be extraordinary in the most ordinary of ways. He asks us to be Holy, as God is Holy, even as he tells us that no one is Good except God.
We cannot be extraordinary Christians. We are always going to be mediocre, stumbling in our faith, prone to sin and selfishness, spiritual goofballs that have to learn the same lessons over and over again.
But truly I tell you, I would rather be a striving to be better Christian than an exceptional anything else.