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My all-time favorite children’s book is entitled “My Dad the Magnificent.” It’s not the most popular story and it was never made into a movie, but it tells the story of how the ordinary events of life can be the most meaningful.

It begins with a little boy who is talking to his best friend Alex. Alex tells our main character how his dad is a fireman. Our main character can’t be outdone, so he decides to lie and tell Alex all about his dad. He tells him that on Mondays his dad is a lion-tamer, on Tuesdays he’s a cowboy, on Wednesdays he plays professional basketball, on Thursdays he’s a deep-sea diver, and on Fridays he’s an explorer at the North Pole who happens to be best friends with Santa Claus. It doesn’t take long for Alex to learn he’s lying when his dad comes home and isn’t wearing a lion-tamers suit or a cowboy hat. Our main character admits he lied and decides instead to tell Alex the truth.

He tells him that on Saturdays he gets to spend all day with his dad. They make pancakes together in the kitchen, play games in the yard, and wash the car together in the driveway. He tells Alex that on Saturday nights his dad tucks him in, tells him a bedtime story, and then says ‘I love you. See you in the morning.’ It’s in that moment that our main character realizes how magnificent his dad truly is even though he’s quite ordinary.

You don’t have to be a lion-tamer to be a great parent, a professional basketball player to be a caring friend, a deep-sea diver to be a loving spouse, or a North Pole explorer to be a faithful follower of Jesus. We don’t have to be extraordinary, in fact our pursuit of extraordinary has left us with unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled lives. I’m not advocating for mediocrity or apathy, rather our ordinariness can be what makes us extraordinary. We don’t have to have a beautiful singing voice in order to make a joyful noise to the Lord. We don’t have to have a degree in theology in order to study God’s Word. We don’t have to speak eloquently in order to pray with a friend.

Perhaps you’re feeling the pressure of not measuring up or not being extraordinary. I wonder what might happen if you pressed pause on your pursuit of extraordinary, radical, amazing, or perfect and simply embraced a life of faith in Christ in exactly who you are, not who you think you should be. God has created each and every one of us with all the necessary tools to love Him and our neighbors, let that be enough for you.

Mark Waterstone

Mark Waterstone pastors Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan.

One Comment

  • Jack Ridl says:

    As our daughter said to me when she was seven and when I strung lights around the front door at Christmas and ended up with the left side stopping a third of the way down, “Dad, leave them this way. They’re perfectly imperfect!”
    And they were. Charming actually. Welcoming

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