"The ordinary self is the extraordinary self - the inconspicuous nobody who shivers in the cold of winter and sweats in the heat of summer, who wakes up unreconciled to the new day, who sits before a stack of pancakes, weaves through traffic, bangs around in the basement, shops in the supermarket, pulls weeds and rakes up leaves, makes love and snowballs, flies kites and listens to the sound of rain on the roof.

While the imposter draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence of life"

Brennan Manning, Abba's Child, 1994

I have wanted to share that little passage with you for a few weeks, but other things were in the works. Today, I get to share it with you, and I am glad to do so. I can't tell you in any manner of measurement how much I have learned from just these few sentences. It seems like reading these words, and then reading them again have altered how I view my life, how I view my actions, and how I view my belovedness.

Go ahead, read them again.

I challenge you to find your worth in all of your deeds, in all of your accomplishments, in all of your seeking the adulation of others. I do not believe you will, although the world, and to a large extent, the church teaches exactly this.

For what else is it when we are considered good Christians if we receive an award for "selfless" acts, or become a preacher, or an elder, or a choir member? What else is it when we measure success by the friends we have, the things we own, and the people who seek us?

Yes, even frinedships do not define our worth, or even who we are. There is only One who does that, and He decided you are worth so much that He died for you. No greater love can be known than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus is found not at seminars or awards banquets, but in the passenger seat of your car. He is not found at the top of the mountain, but on the long ranging plains as far as any eye can see. He is not found in a paycheck or the vactaion of a lifetime, rather, he is found just as you punch in for work each day, especially on Monday. He is found in your home, while you are scrubbing the toilet, or taking out the trash. He is found, in fact, always everywhere, but since the mundane is the majority of our lives, you will never have greater moments with Jesus than when you are picking up the dog poop in the yard, or rocking your child to sleep.

Why do we seek Jesus on the mountaintop? Why do we seek Him when we are being praised? Why do we seek Him when Billy Graham is speaking? Isn't He available all other times?

Of course He is, and only our realization of our belovedness will expose Jesus to us whenever we are, wherever we are.

You are the beloved. That is your worth, that is who you are. Just being you makes you extraordinary. No mystical entreatment is necessary. No accomplishment will make you better. Being praised or receiving an award for excellence will not make you extraordinary or wonderful. That would be impossible, because you were already extraordinary and wonderful the moment you breathed for the first time.

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