Sometimes I get hung up on this idea of achieving greatness… almost feeling like I wouldn’t be doing enough with my life unless I dream big things and do big things. But what if big (whatever “big” is) isn’t in the cards for me? What if average and ordinary is all there is?
I came across a video in my Twitter feed today of the nation’s oldest known working teacher celebrating her 100th birthday. The woman looked fabulous – not a day over 80. Abel, watching the video from over my shoulder, said, “Wow, God must have something really special for her.” One hundred years old and still teaching Home Economics 35 hours a week? Something special indeed.
It kind of makes me wonder, “Why?…”
The mystery of life and death and the number of our days grasps me at times and holds me down with a healthy fear of how very, very small I am. That there is a huge eternity waiting on the other side of this mortal existence, the next breath of which we have no promise, just absolutely blows my mind. I cannot comprehend it.
Just before Christmas, my 82-year-old grandma was conversing with a friend. “My kids are special,” and “God is so good,” she had said. Hours later, she passed away in her sleep. As that story was shared at her funeral, tears of joy welled up in my eyes. At what was to be the end of a long, rich life, my grandma’s ponderings had been on those she loved most… and they had deeply touched us who loved her most.
To think of the existence that was hers…. The experiences she learned from. The hardships she lived through. The missions she accomplished. The people she touched…. The number of days God gave her… and the moment that completed them.
My grandma wasn’t rich or famous. She didn’t do abnormally awesome things with her life. She just lived it. And her impact was huge. She was the mom who raised the mom who raised me, a mom. And even if that were all her ordinary life had encompassed – motherhood – it would still be extraordinary.
So the next time I get hung up on someone else’s idea of achieving greatness, I’m sure I’ll think of my grandma. Because living the life you have been given, no matter how average and ordinary it may seem, is about as great as it gets.