Just average?

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was at a community meeting this morning and one of the people opened with a reading. The words were those of some fluffy motivational writer and the selected section was some diatribe on how being “average” was chiefest sin among all sins. If you’re average, said he, you are not only a disappointment to yourself but commit an offense against God and all humanity. What a waste, average.

All the time that the words are tumbling toward the garbage disposal of my mind I am thinking, “Who is he talking about?” The answer, based on any practical measure, including that of a representative slice of the general public, is “most people.” Most people are average, give or take. But according to this writer If you’re not exceptional your life is a waste. Well, think about that.

First of all, average in what ways? No one can excel in everything.

But more importantly, the definition of “average” is based almost exclusively on external measures. What if you are an “average” gardener but exceedingly loving? What if you are a “C” student but intuitively know when people need a friend?

And most important, in my mind, what if this notion of “being average” is a concoction of a driven personality that believes he has to earn his worth as a human being as opposed to receiving it by virtue of being created in the image of God?

Garrison Keillor famously describes Lake Wobegon as a place where “all the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” He says that satirically, tongue in cheek, and we know it. Because we know he doesn’t really believe what he is saying we also know he is critiquing a false and unrealistic attitude toward being human, what is possible and important. The truth is that not all the children are above average. But they are loved of God. To miss that would be the real disappointment and a terrible misunderstanding of the creator who made them.

  1. Jan Frost says:

    Thanks for this Tim- so very very true!

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