Technically, there is nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream. In fact I’ve heard of people that consider vanilla ice cream a fine delicacy. BUT for me, a plain bowl of vanilla ice cream is just screaming for some hot fudge… and raspberry topping with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top. For me, vanilla ice cream is just ordinary. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with ordinary, I just can’t think of many things a good dose of hot fudge won’t improve.
But guess what? I settle for plain vanilla ice all the time. It’s easy, it’s in the freezer and who needs all that extra stuff anyway? In truth, I am amazed at how often I am drawn towards the ordinary. I decide to go to a meeting but I’m not going to say anything so I won’t draw attention. Someone asks me to try something new but I decide to wait and see how it works out for them. I play down people lifting me up and ignore people putting me down. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with any of that- it’s just being ordinary.
But the Bible seems to ask Christians to be more- we’re asked to be extraordinary. As enticing as the safe, ordinary life may be, Christ is asking us to do more. He’s asked us to sow the seeds, bear much fruit, bring in the harvest and in our spare time, we should be the light of the world. That’s quite a job description but how? Are we supposed to be feeding the homeless, handing out bibles and driving people to church? Maybe. But first, I think Jesus really wants something much more basic and much harder.
This is the way I see it. Jesus wants you to be extra-ordinary in the way you treat people. He wants your love for Him to be so evident that people say to you
“Why were you nice to him? You don’t even know him?”
“How can you forgive them after everything they did to you?”
“Why did you give that away? What do you get out of it?”
“Why did you stand up for that person? You hardly know them.”
“That was your chance to get back at them. Why didn’t you get your revenge?”
“How can you stay so calm? I would have blasted them into next week.”
That my friend is a life extraordinary. We are called as Christians to be extraordinarily generous, extraordinarily forgiving, extraordinarily caring, extraordinarily passionate, extraordinarily peaceful- to say it simply, Jesus calls you to be extraordinarily loving especially to the people that are the hardest to love. That doesn’t mean we won’t have ordinarily bad days when people see us loose our patience, disregard someone’s feelings or even reject a friend. But do you know what happens when we are able to display a glimmer, just a glimmer of Christ’s extraordinary love? Seeds are planted, fruits are harvested and your light truly does shine around your world. And your life will be sweeter- whether you like hot fudge or not.
Karen Tripp MS Speaker, Author, Counselor