“I’m just trying to prove that maybe, just maybe, I can do more than what I was built for.” This is a line spoken by a little crop dusting plane named “Dusty” from the hit Pixar Movie “Planes”. This theme is developed and expanded upon throughout the movie.
How should Christians think about such things? What is the biblical approach to how one lives life? There is much truth in what Dusty says. Unfortunately, as the movie develops, it becomes clear that to live a life doing menial tasks, such as dusting crops, is unacceptable. The movie seems to end teaching that if you aren’t following your dreams and doing amazing things, you are living a dull and boxed in ordinary life. The person making parts for a car is not as important as the person driving a race car. The farmer working in his field is not as important as the 5 star chef. This mentality is disastrous to a society. In this mentality, one’s identity is tied not to their motivation and effort, but the glory of what they do.
While it seems the movie takes the theme far beyond what is wise and biblical, it is helpful for us to consider what it means to not just live an ordinary life. The first question that would need to be answered is what are we called to? Ephesians 1:4 states, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace.” What are we called to? To live for the glory of God.
The second question that needs to be answered is how does the Bible define an extraordinary life? It is clear from the Bible that ordinary is not defined by task. In other words, a farmer is not less ordinary than a 5 star chef. A slave is not less ordinary than a wealthy master. Biblically, ordinary is defined as living for self. Wow! That is a twist on our society’s way of thinking isn’t it! When speaking to slaves, Paul writes, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”(Colossians 3:23-34).
The final question is how do we live an extraordinary life? Psalm 1 states that blessed is the man whose “Delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” How do we move beyond an ordinary life? Pursuing God through His Word and living in accordance with His Word.
So, in conclusion, how do you escape living the ordinary life? You live a sacrificial life pursing God, living in service to Christ, for the glory of God, regardless of your task or career. Are you a secretary? A janitor? A business executive? A stay-at-home mom? A manager? Whatever task you have been called to, you can live an extraordinary life by pursuing God and living for the glory of God.
Casting Crowns captures this well in their new song “Thrive”. The chorus states “Its time for us to more than just survive…we were made to thrive!” They define thriving as pursuing God through His Word and living for His glory instead of our own. Give it a listen and examine your life! Are you living an ordinary life?