The Ministry of Ordinary


When we talk about God, think about God, praise God, worship God, venerate God, surrender to God, discern God’s will, attune to God’s power, accept God’s intimacy … all that … How close do we allow “God” – and just what is the “God” we imagine?

A Powerful God, a Jealous God, a Loving God, an All–Seeing-Knowing-Recording-every-detail-every-thought-every-bad-thing-every-good-thing-every-thing-about-every-thing-and every-one-God?

Which makes God a Super-Big-Brother-God. The Bestest-All-Knowing-All-Seeing-Monitoring-System-God – the likes of which every government would hold in awe (just imagine the control we could exert over “our citizens” – for their wellbeing obviously).

I used to be a fan of reality tv.  It turned me off “reality tv” when I saw “Storyline Editor” roll up the screen each time

Except I think “our reality” is that we make our own storyline editor.  I think we often give God that job in our own lives when it suits (obviously): “It’s His fault things are this way … I prayed and prayed but He never answered … if He was a loving God He wouldn’t let bad things happen … if I was God I wouldn’t let bad things happen.”

Like the Sunday roast we had yesterday – what was that dead animal we cooked and enjoyed (not forgetting allergy, vegan, piscatorian, dairy-free, vegan, etc. – those tasty fresh vegetables – other living things – someone killed by harvesting)?  Like the time we said: You wait your turn – as we edged out someone trying to edge in?  Like the time we said loudly: “there’s a queue here!” as someone tried to jump in before us.  Like our own children’s tantrums when we say “no” to their latest must have – because “everyone’s already got it already … pleassssssssse!” Or what about the fact that the person we look at in the mirror every day is replaced every couple of months – our dead skin flaking inexorably every minute of every day?  Death.  Free Will.  Love.  We blur the edges every minute of every day and call that living – getting by – staying sane.  But we don’t beat ourselves up over these things – it’s how things are. As we ask:

“Why me?  Why do all the bad things happen to me, why do all the good things happen to them, when is it my turn … why aren’t I not good enough … I am not good enough … I hate them, I hate you and I hate me – and I hate God for letting this happen!”

Belief and fact. Free will and destiny. Fact and fiction.  It becomes a big jumble of who and what we are.  No wonder we have trouble fitting “God” into all that ambiguity!  We expect God to be everything we are not and we then transfer all of “that” onto “believers” – which is us (if we call ourselves a “believer”).

Except I ponder the word “believer” against “non-believer”: We are all “believers” – just with our own preferred mix-and-match. It’s just we expect “believers” to be as God-Like as we have made God to be. Which means as inconsistent as we are – but not (obviously).

And the “Achilles heel” in all of this from my experience?

He is consistent – He allows each – He loves each – He sees beauty in each – He delivers on “free will” in everything … Which means we have to blame Him.  Because “our God” doesn’t do that.  With our God you have to believe this that and the other – or He is not our God – he is your god – our God says so!

And so we distance ourselves from Him. We fear Him. We dismiss Him. We insult Him as we worship and praise Him.  We belittle Him as we serve Him.  We destroy “Him” as we replace Him with our god (even if that is telling ourselves there is no god).

I find each faith (non-faith) does that the same way – and then we go to war with each other!  Often literally.

So why the war? Why the terror? Why the violence both verbal, written and actual? Why the need to identify ourselves as different when we are all the same – that we are ALL “believers” with variants of belief?

Or might that make belief “ordinary”? And might that make God (or no-God) ordinary as well.  And wouldn’t that make make war over “this ordinary God or no-God” illogical? Because isn’t the only difference this:

“You are wrong – I believe the “belief evidence” I have of this belief.”  Which elevates my belief from the “ordinary” to the “extra-ordinary”. Which makes “my belief” (“our belief” – obviously) – “different”.  Which makes me – us (obviously) – different.  Because we have found truth.  And you haven’t.  So your belief makes you dangerous to our belief. Which is why we must destroy you (verbal, written and actual – obviously).” 

And we see that as “truth” … ?

Like when we believe(d) in the tooth fairy, that Mum and Dad were right all the time, that growing old only happens to other people, that maths is boring, that power corrupts and total power corrupts totally, that we are a Christian country which makes us right, that they are a Muslim country which makes them wrong, that we need to be more powerful than them to be safe, that they are more powerful than us which is unsafe,  that man never landed on the moon, that no child should be born to die … on and on … in every area of our lives.

I have a question about “truth”.

As you breathe your last expected (or unexpected) breath, isn’t Love the only important thing to all of us?  “Where are my loved ones, how are my loved ones, will my loved ones be okay – I am going to miss you – I wish I had shown you that I loved you more – and thank you for loving me.”  And doesn’t THAT make all the rest “ordinary”?

“The Ministry of Ordinary”

I think I might have found my calling!

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7 thoughts on “The Ministry of Ordinary

  1. “Ministry of Ordinary”- I love this title 😊 A pastor I know calls their ministry the Ministry of Presence- simply being with people and showing the Love of Christ by just being “present” in the moment with them. It seems that we make things so complicated… as you say often “love is the answer” 😊

    • Not often – always!! 🙂

      Hiya Julie, and thank you! He has me circling this word “ordinary” of late. And it still feels odd writing about an ordinary God. Yet – apart from a hour or so each week – that is who my God is. Like right this second replying to your words – and that makes Him even more wonderful and special in my daily living and loving. Precious. Intimate. Personal. Always. And always so loving – so consistently loving! That kind of “ordinary” (if that makes sense).

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