If you are like me, you aren’t content to simply follow Jesus; you want to do it in a big way and live a life that brilliantly reflects the love of God. We want to be extraordinary. Following in the footsteps of Christ is a very difficult task that at times seems nearly impossible. How then could we ever hope to live a life that goes above and beyond that to which He has called us? I was listening to one of my mentors this morning, the late Jim Rohn, and he said that the key to being extraordinary was to do ordinary things extraordinarily well. You’ve probably heard that in some form before, but the wisdom in this advice is quite sound. We don’t need to be superstar performers or super spiritual ascetics to live our lives way beyond measure. We simply need to do the little things we can do with great care and enthusiasm, in ways that exceed the wildest expectations of others.
Sometimes simply going about our day with a smile on our faces will be far beyond what anyone expects. We live in a dour, cynical world and when someone favors us with a smile it is often unexpected and always appreciated. Think back to the last time a stranger gave you the gift of a friendly smile; did it not lift your spirit in an inexplicable manner? This is such a small task, one that anyone can accomplish, yet it can have such a profound impact on not only the one to whom you give the gift, but also on your own disposition. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, our built in natural wonder drugs that make us feel happier and more relaxed. A calm, vibrant person becomes more naturally attractive to others and this affords us the opportunity to both reflect and share the love of Jesus with others. Simply by smiling you’ve gone from an average Christian to an evangelist; how extraordinary!
When you offer help to someone in need, don’t be content to stop at the obvious problem at hand. Show genuine love to that person, and offer to spend a few more minutes helping them with something else. How often do you have a thirty second conversation with someone and then move on, content that you have fulfilled your socially polite duties? Have you ever had the experience of saying “Good morning!” to someone and had them respond with a “Fine, thanks”? We have these pre-programmed conversations that we utilize automatically when we come across a casual acquaintance in a hallway or supermarket. What if we took the effort to disengage our auto-pilot and spend two minutes of actual conversation with that person instead of the obligatory thirty seconds? Would that person not realize that you were genuinely interested in them and perhaps eventually begin sharing their heart and struggles with you? Now you have created an opportunity to speak love into their life and help them begin a healing process that might very well lead them to devoting their life to Christ. All this takes is an additional ninety seconds of your time. By sparing ninety seconds each day to engage someone in meaningful conversation, you just might fulfill the command of Christ to make a disciple. Ninety seconds; that’s extraordinary!
Being extraordinary for Jesus is not a task that is beyond us; it is simply a matter of looking at the ordinary things we do every day, and finding ways to do them better than before. These small, incremental changes will compound to have a dramatic effect on the life you live for Christ. As you build momentum by focusing on the previously mundane aspects of your walk, you will find simply following Jesus is not enough; now you must pursue Him with an intense devotion and unbridled passion because a little of Jesus leaves you thirsting for so much more. This is a life that is far from ordinary; seek it and you will find that you can indeed be extraordinary in your service to Christ.