Recently a blog post went viral that caught my attention: What if All I Want Is A Mediocre Life?
The post struck me for a number of reasons:
The gentleness of the writer.
The sigh of relief it offered.
The simple but power-filled words.
It was a message easy to gravitate to.
“The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.
But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy.
What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same. Accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.”
See? Gravitational, isn’t it? Because we all know the stress of hustle and bustle, and we all understand what it’s like to be fed-up with the overwhelm of life.
But the Holy Spirit nudged me, so I read the post again.
This time with a Jesus filter.
And I experienced an entirely different perspective.
What started out as something inspiring quickly became something troubling. Here’s why.
We like messages that resonate… that we agree with… that make us feel heard and understood – and we especially like messages encouraging us to simplify the chaos life can be. We then share these posts because they seemingly validate our perspective and explain where we’re coming from to our friends and family. Someone else put into words how and what you’ve been feeling and you can’t help but share it.
What happens when the message you share is good, sure, but it’s also disguised as a message encouraging you to stay complacent and comfortable in your mediocrity rather than challenging you to become something more?
An Uncomfortable Truth
We humans like comfort. We strive for ease and relaxation more than we even care to admit. We want extra cushioning in our couches, all-inclusive-style vacationing, sermons that give us the feel-goods, and green lights perfectly timed.
Basically, we don’t have to work very hard for comfort because human DNA is wired for it. Path of least resistance – sign me up! Mediocre is our default setting.
So when a blog post comes along packaging up mediocre as good and acceptable – and I do understand the heart behind the message – perhaps we should see this message as a warning sign rather than a rally cry.
And before you chalk me up as insensitive, let me just say that I get it. Really, I do.
The reasons I loved this post originally are probably the very reasons why it went viral in the first place. There’s something really important and downright necessary about seeing our everyday lives as beautiful and extraordinary and seeing ourselves as enough in the midst of each mediocre day – seriously, imagine how beautiful this world could be if true contentment was the fuel of our souls. In fact, is this not exactly what the Apostle Paul meant when He wrote:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7
But we must also not forget that, as Christians, we are not on earth to be mediocre, or ordinary, or comfortable, or to blend in. Yes, bloom in the most mediocre of places and in the most mediocre of circumstances – profound miracles can certainly happen in middle of the mediocre – but also, don’t settle!
If you claim to be a Christian… and you claim to follow Jesus… and you claim the Bible to be true… and you claim to be spirit led, then please don’t label that mediocre. It is anything but!
The way I see it…
There’s nothing mediocre about the Bible.
There’s nothing mediocre about Jesus.
There’s nothing mediocre about the Holy Spirit.
And there should be nothing mediocre about your life.
So you have to ask yourself:
Is mediocre how scripture compels me to live?
Is mediocre how the disciples chose to model the faith?
Is mediocre what Jesus is calling me to be?
If you can answer yes to these questions, then sure, by all means, go ahead, live a mediocre life. But I have a feeling your heart is pounding right about now because you know that, as a Christian, mediocre and life should never belong in the same sentence.