Accomplishing the Ordinary

Ever feel ordinary? When you read the stories of past and present heroes and heroines of the faith, do you ever wonder if you were in the bathroom when the call went out for volunteers?

I’m about as ordinary as can be. My days are filled with planning and preparing meals, cleaning the house (admittedly that fills as few of my days as possible), and writing stories about made-up people and events that exist only in my imagination. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God, is this really all you want me to do? Shouldn’t I be out feeding the hungry, stopping abortion, ministering to the sick and imprisoned? It seems so ordinary. So unremarkable. I confess that when I read about others who follow the Lord’s call to minister in Uganda or the Middle East or even inner city USA, I’m a little bit…convicted? Intimidated? Embarrassed at my lack of accomplishments? Makes me wonder, am I not listening? Did I not recognize the Lord’s voice when He called me to do something extraordinary? Was I not paying attention?

Whenever I’m feeling common, ordinary—may I say, useless?—I remind myself that God makes some vessels for special purposes and some for common use. (Romans 9:21) We tend to remember the Biblical giants of the faith, like Abraham and Moses and Paul, but there were many who were used for ordinary purposes. Read the genealogies of the Old Testament, or even Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:1-16 or Luke 3:23-38. No doubt, you’ll recognize some of the names, but a lot of them we know nothing about. They were just ordinary people like you and me, going about their daily routines. Unremarkable, except that they were the human ancestors of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

I often think of Susanna Wesley, a mother who went about her daily chores. Would we know anything about her if not for her famous sons, John and Charles? The same could be said for most well-known figures, from presidents to movie stars to business leaders to sports figures. Someone had to do the ordinary things of life in order for them to fulfill their special purpose.

Maybe that’s why Solomon wrote, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) And Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord…” (Colossians 3:23)

Even common ordinary vessels are important in their own way. God has a plan and a purpose for us. It may not be glamorous. It may not make us famous, but that’s not the goal anyway. The goal is to make His name famous. And if He chooses to do that through ordinary means, I’m one of His first volunteers.


Alt. headshotAuthor Bio:

Not exactly ordinary, Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three spectacular children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. She even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys ordinary activities like knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.


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Book Links:

Hear No Evil, Book 1:

Speak No Evil, Book 2:

See No Evil:





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