I love the sentiment expressed by William Martin in “The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents”. As I read it I couldn’t help think of the best advice I’ve ever received.
Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
― William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
One of the reasons I love the sentiment here is I was raised to “find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life” and it has served me well. But the foundation of the advice I was given was the gospel, that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
I believe Martin’s Advice is good no matter our age, especially if we filter it through the Truth in God’s Word.
In Pursuit of Extraordinary
As a young adult, I left home and small town and moved to the city, not in pursuit of an extraordinary life but in obedience to an extraordinary God. Truth be told, I didn’t know how to pursue an extraordinary life. I just knew how to work hard, have faith, and enjoy the simple things.
It’s still all I know.
I am thankful for my education and experiences and even the discomfort and challenges that each new season presents. I’m thankful for the detours and wrong turns. Even there I find grace. With every step, I learn it’s not diplomas, stamps on my passport, money in the bank, or awards and achievements that make me and my life extraordinary.
He makes the ordinary come alive.
An extraordinary, abundant life is available to us all. We don’t gain it by striving but by receiving Christ and abiding in Him.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Walking with God is the grandest adventure.
William Martin said, “make the ordinary come alive, the extraordinary will take care of itself.”
Jesus said it better.
In Matthew 6:25, He urges, “Do not worry about your life.”
For seven verses He proceeds to name many ways we tend to worry and attempt to manage our life.
He ends the chapter with this, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
That’s the best advice I’ve ever received, straight from the mouth of God.