A Call to Mediocrity
Wait wait wait. Before you form snappy opinions based on the title, I want you to know it’s not what you think.
First, I have some questions for you: what are you the BEST at? I’m talking like #1 here. Your area of expertise: the thing that everyone applauds you for or the area where people come to you for help or insight. Where in life do you dominate?
I cannot think of a single area of my life where I am the best, greatest, most driven, most successful, or the end-all-be-all. “The Best” and “Dominator” are not labels I have ever been given.
As a senior in college and a student for the past 249104 years since I was 4, I have always made good grades, but I have never been the very top of my class. I am an elementary education major and am student teaching this semester. I work hard, but I am far from being the best teacher in the school or even the best student teacher of my peers. I write and have never been published, I create art but it isn’t on display, I run but not as far or as fast as many, and I cook but it ain’t nothing like what Bobby Flay whips up.
That list doesn’t even scratch the surface of things I can’t do, such as sing. I do it, but it’s not like a thing if you know what I mean. My shower, my steering wheel, and my roommates receive the brunt of my singing and I can tell ya they wouldn’t highly recommend it to your ears.
As I was driving home from school today on a curvy mountain road, feeling blue about being a mediocre teacher/ person and feeling like I have not found that thing in life that I am really gifted in, I heard “It’s a call to mediocrity.”
And I thought Huuhhhhh???
How backwards and upside down.
But it makes sense. Track with me here:
I mean- I totally trust that the Lord could have made me a star athlete, a straight-up genius, a musical prodigy, or the next van Gogh, but He didn’t. And I trust His discernment and His handiwork in creating me. And I don’t believe that the Lord sees me as mediocre or average, despite how I may see myself at times. It reminds me of Enoch from the Bible.
Our bud Enoch is only mentioned three times in the Bible: Genesis 5:18-24; Hebrews 11:5; and Jude 14-15. In Genesis 5: 22-24 it says, “After he became father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
That’s it. He walked.
Next thing you know, you flip to Hebrews, and Enoch is listed in the Hall of Faith with all the other big shots like Abraham and Moses. Hebrews 11:5-6 says, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
And then in Jude, Enoch is quoted for a prophecy he made about people who don’t follow Christ. It’s a quick two-verse shout out.
Let’s pause for a minute. Rewind and freeze. All we know about Enoch is that he walked with God for 300 years and had a few chillins and that’s it. Some might refer to him as having been an average fellow. But the Bible said that he was pleasing to God because he had faith. I know that what my heart desires is to be truly pleasing to the Lord, a sweet aroma to Him.
Enoch walked with God and that was enough. He didn’t start a company or win awards or do anything outlandish, and if he did, the Bible did not see those things as important enough to record, because the most important thing was that he walked consistently and faithfully with the one true living God.
That brings us back to where we started.
There is nothing wrong with achieving great things and having amazing talents and gifts and using them. All good gifts come from the Lord, and if you have clear talents abilities and gifts, use them! I just, at this point in my life, cannot identify with any one thing that I am really good at. I am halfway decent at a lot of things and not particularly good at any one thing, and that’s just where I am. Humble beginnings.
In the midst of the seemingly mediocre life that I am living, I still believe that I was created on purpose for a purpose. And my usefulness to the kingdom and my value as a person are completely unaffected by my skills or abilities in those other areas. Another way I look at it is a calling in this life to be faithful and fervent even in the mediocre, average things. Because its not about being the best or the greatest, comparing my accomplishments to those of others, or making much of myself.
And I forget that at times and get down on myself about all the things that I cannot do.
One talent that I do have is walking. I can walk with the Father in and throughout this life. Walk, roll, crawl; however you get around. That is one thing that we can ALL do with the Lord. Daily.
Enoch lived an average life that consisted mainly of walking with God, and God called him faithful and pleasing, and labeled Enoch the same caliber of believer as other major heroes of the faith. That gives me hope, and I can identify with Enoch.
So for you girls (and even fellas) out there who feel like you cannot pinpoint or haven’t yet walked into the fullness of your gifts, abilities or passions, know that you don’t have to wait until you “become something” or do something big to feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Remember that it’s about walking with zeal - faithfully and consistently - alongside the God who fashioned you so perfectly and intentionally.
Walking. That is one thing I can do. And is there really any higher calling?
Instagram: @margegunn // Twitter: @margegunn
Hey y’all, I’m Mary Margaret. I hail from the great state of Mississippi and I currently reside in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I am a senior at Appalachian State University. Hanging out in the mountains is one of my favorite things, along with candles (duh), waking up early, books, songs that get me down deep, hot tea, learning, a long-time friend, and a great dress. The Lord is the only constant I have or need, and I love navigating life alongside Him and finding ways to consistently love and serve Him with my heart, soul, and mind.