I am going to do a little writing experiment this week. For the next five days I will post a short, devotional style entry around the theme of something I like to call Demotivation. If motivation is the sexy superstar of self-promoting, Demotivation is the ugly little sister nobody likes to talk about.
So let’s see what we can discover together about the ego-shrinking concept of Demotivation.
mediocrity is excellent in the eyes of mediocre people. (Joseph Joubert, french essayist, 1754 – 1824)
I was watching a tv show that included an interview with a superstar extreme athlete. His commitment to a lifestyle of workouts and competitions is in deep contrast to regular folks who play sports for fun. “Dude, I just like to keep it simple,” he recounted as some people respond to his militant-like devotion to physical achievement. “Well, yeah, keeping it real is keep it really mediocre,” he snorted as he puffed up with peacock-like pride over his superior athletic talent.
It got my grrr going which is why I probably remember the soundbite.
Mediocrity is so misunderstood. We slap it on ourselves like a badge of shame to try to motivate ourselves into a better version of who we are. Is that really the way to inspire our imagination?
In the realm of faith, the common life is mistaken for mediocrity. I met a man one time, a gray-haired hippie who oozed with self-loathing over his quiet, unassuming life. He felt wrecked upon the heap of insignficance as he assessed his life as mediocre. Yet here he was, living a stable life, working hard with his own hands to provide for his family, and he was healthy. I can tell you that my dad, who became crippled by his forties from a cruel disease called rheumatoid arthritis, would have traded with him in a heartbeat. (not the family part, but the healthy part!!!)
There are a kazillion sermons and books and teaching series on how to Not Live a Mediocre Life. I feel bullied just thinking about it. Who decides whether or not my life, or yours, is mediocre?
I think it’s time to pay attention to our mediocrity and call it what it is: ordinary life. Most of us most of the time for most of history, are everyday, common men and women who live our lives in unassuming steadiness. We are not the history makers or agents of change. We are not the reformers or revolutionaries or revivalists of faith. We are commoners. The peasants of the kingdom of God who do not look for grandness in the great scheme of things, but are content to possess meaning in the mundane and obscure.
Own up to your mediocrity. It’s a gift in disguise.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:30
Did this post resonate with you? Pass it on!