I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has [given] you. – Romans 12:3 (NIV)
We are still in the liturgical season of Epiphany, what our Catholic siblings call the beginning of Ordinary Time, when disciples of Jesus are encouraged to mature in daily expression of their faith outside the feasts and fasts of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter.
It is a time for ordinary growth, not extraordinary growth. What a relief!
I’ve been obsessed lately with this clip from Kate Bowler’s interview of Liz Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love. She talks about how in our culture we have been sold, in every commencement speech, inspirational talk (and I’d add: far too many sermons) on the idea of our specialness. The idea that each of us is born with a unique purpose, and we have to craft and hone that purpose until we’re at the top of our game, and we’ll know we’re successful when we’ve monetized that purpose, mentored others into excellence around that purpose, and left a legacy that has changed the world. No presh!
What if, instead, it is just enough to wonder at the fact that we get to be alive at all? Be here, now, on this amazing planet, inside these bodies, moving and being?
What if our spiritual practice, just for today, is to accept our limitations with relief, and even joy? We would get to spare ourselves further anxiety and humiliation that we haven’t yet cured cancer, brokered world peace, or written a bestselling novel or viral tweet. We would realize that we in fact may never do those things, and yet we haven’t let God down.
God, we can’t pray it enough: make me enough for You. Then make me enough for me. Amen.
Rev. Molly Baskette is the lead pastor of First Church Berkeley UCC and the author of books about church renewal, parenting, spiritual growth and more. Sign up for her author newsletter or get information about her newest book at mollybaskette.com.