“The Lord must have loved ordinary people because he made so many of us.”

-Rev. Bob Richards

Jimmy Valvano, former coach of NC State, heard the above comment when he was 16 years old, and it inspired him to action!

“Every single day, in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things.

Ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things.”

Valvano said he raised his hand immediately because that is what he wanted to do.

That is who he wanted to be. He knew his own “ordinariness” and wanted to become extraordinary.

Flash forward 21 years.

He led a team that was NOT expected to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to a phenomenal and surprising victory.

His ordinariness (according to himself) was used to be extraordinary.

He allowed himself to be used.

He committed himself to being extraordinary.

Not for self-gain but for the gain of others.

Sure, sports are about winning, but Valvano was known for investing in his players. Building them up not only athletically but as people. Because his mantra in life was, “Every. Single. Day. ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

So often, we expect huge flashes of light to reveal a message from God.

We want the figure dressed in white shiny material to “pop in” right in front of us with big fluffy wings, telling us that God is present and we are not alone.

We long for monumental “ah-ha” moments. If we don’t get them, we believe our stories aren’t enough.

Finding God everywhere means we must embrace the ordinary.

Recognizing that we do not need to be some superhero to feel God, to be at one with God only requires our authentic selves.

Rev. Richards, who was the original author of the ordinary people comment, was anything BUT ordinary. But that was not how he saw himself. He saw himself as one of humanity, just like everyone else.

Equal with all. Humility – not thinking we “have it all together”  – – – is a mark of extraordinary, actually.

Maybe if we think we are “fully comfortable with something,” we need to revisit the entire idea because life is not created for our comfort or our thinking we’ve got it all “in the bag.” Life is about our willingness to dive head first into the challenges and the waves, recognizing there is a power FAR greater than ours that will enable us to make the ordinary extraordinary.

Read more about Rev. Richards by clicking here. He was a fascinating human, holding a world Olympic record because of his excellence in multiple sports.

Watch Valvano’s speech here

Grace and Peace,