I always felt unremarkable, which I think I could have been okay with if the world didn’t always send messages that made me feel as if ordinary was an outrage. When I was a kid, the word average meant you were like everyone else. It meant you were okay. You were enough. You fell into the middle and you weren’t worried about being out-twirled at baton practice or made fun of when the metal bar fell on your head.
Those were happy days. If, somewhat unremarkable.
But at some point, and maybe it was when I started paying attention, everything changed. Being average meant you were like the less-than sign used in math—pointing in the wrong direction, open to the mundanity of mediocracy. A losing symbol in a world that equates greatness with worthiness.
Whatever happened to good enough?
I suppose that is why I am so fond of God. While He asks me to be good, He has always believed I am good enough. Of course, I didn’t always know that because I was too distracted with headlines on glossy magazines, books on bettering, and tried-and-true tips that felt like a tongue twister of tortured suggestions.
Somewhere along the way, it wasn’t enough to just climb a mountain. It had to be conquered, a flag staked on the summit claiming victory so the whole world knows of such greatness. Somewhere along the way, the world’s messages became more important than God’s, and I was left parched and weak from the climb.
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What Victory Really Looks Like
Victory with God isn’t about surmounting, it’s about surrendering. It’s about believing in our need for a Savior instead of our need for surpassing. It’s about accepting what is, who we are, and what will be. It doesn’t mean we don’t use our gifts, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, or that we wallow in stagnant waters.
He created us for greatness, but not as the world sees it. “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” (Colossians 3:2). Created in His image, we are intrinsically good enough. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light,” (1 Peter 2:9).
That’s certainly good enough for me. Under the world’s spotlight, I am unremarkable. In His wonderful light, I am extraordinary. When I am focused on my relationship with God, the finicky standards of others don’t matter to me. I am too aware of my blessings and the way His love, mercy, and graces keep me in His light to bother worrying whether the world considers me adequate.
Waving the “Good Enough” Flag
As such, I am getting out my “good enough” flag that used to wave high above airborne batons, before I succumbed to the world’s definition of success. I’m duct taping it somewhere in the middle of my mountain which is covered in laundry, dirty dishes, unfinished projects, and unreached potential.
I have not finished my climb, but I am done with the notion of the mountaintop. Where I long to go is so much higher anyway. The way up looks more like the twirl of a baton than the trudge of a climb.
And, that’s good enough for me.
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Lara Patangan is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. She is currently working on publishing her first book about her mid-life mission to do works of mercy. You can find out more about her here.