“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
The new “Mission Impossible” film opens nationwide today. It looks like a real nail-biter. The trailer for the film depicts Tom Cruise hanging on to the outside of an airplane as it takes off, and that’s just in the opening moments of the film. It’s pretty clear, this will be no ordinary day in the life of an ordinary man. Tom Cruise’s character is extraordinary.
Watching movies like that can leave us with an inferiority complex. I know I could never hang on to an airplane as it took off nor do most of the things Cruise has done in the Mission Impossible series. I’m just an ordinary woman, condemned to watch as others do extraordinary things. But then I read the book of Acts, and I see very ordinary men, Peter and John, Stephen and Philip, men who showed no sign of being anything out of the ordinary, suddenly accomplish great works for the kingdom of God. They do it, not because they are extraordinary human beings, but because the extraordinary power of God fills them and empowers them.
This is the story of our God. From Moses to Gideon to the twelve disciples, God has selected the ordinary and achieved world-changing purposes through them. Each one of us has the ability to do the same. Not because we are extraordinary, not because we can hang on airplanes or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but because we can open our hearts and minds to the presence of God. When we invite God into our life, when we offer God a willing and humble heart, we open the door to the possibility that God will work through us to accomplish God’s great work of redemption. We offer God the opportunity to take someone absolutely ordinary and accomplish the extraordinary.
So enjoy movies about amazing characters, and then open your heart and mind to discern what God might want to accomplish through you. Not because you’re the next Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie, but because God has work to be done and is willing to accomplish God’s purposes through ordinary people like you and me.
Prayer: Almighty God, take my will and let it reflect your will. Take my heart and mold it to want what you want. Use me today to accomplish your purpose in the world. Let me always be aware of your presence empowering and directing me, so that I may be part of the great work of your kingdom with humility and love. Amen.