There once was a girl named Julie. She lived in the town of Average. Average was a typical town complete with the basics. It had an OK place to eat called, “Your Average Diner,” a newspaper called, “The Average Gazette,” “Average Joe’s Barber Shop,” “Your Average Bear” Preschool, “Fair to Midland Real- Estate,” “The Law of Averages” Law Firm. They had a grocery store called, “Your Garden-Variety Grocers,” a new coffee shop known as “Ordinary Bucks,” and so on. Of course, they also had a Church, “The First Church of Average” was located on Underestimated Blvd.
Average was as uneventful as a place could get, but it was a safe place to raise your kids.
Ironically, this town was famous for being average. Average was located between the mountains and a valley. (It was said that many years ago Jesus actually lived there for about 30 years… now that’s something to ponder:). People from above Average would flock to Average because of its reputation for being ordinary. Likewise, those who lived in the valley below Average would also enjoy their time living in the lap of luxury in Average. Oftentimes, the folks who lived above Average (famous, beautiful, rich, and super-smart people) needed a break from their grueling schedules, and many would choose to vacation in Average, and stay in the “Adequate Inn” where they were charged a nominal fee.
Now, something strange happened when the unknown, or famous, unimpressive and beautiful, almost invisible and exceptionally gifted entered Average: for some reason, as soon as they crossed over into the city limits, they would be unrecognizable for whatever they had been famous for or not known for. It was weird, but no one stuck out in Average, and that was a good thing for everyone.
Julie lived on a Run-of-the-Mill St just o of Middle of the Road Ave. She had always been content living in Average, but today she was in an unusually restless state-of-mind. She prayed and wondered what it would be like to be more than average. She started to dream of being beautiful, and smart, and rich. She dreamed of being special and famous for something. Anything!
As she was lamenting her averageness, she noticed a woman entering the town. Julie decided to take a poll of the people who came to Average. On average there were about five people a day coming in. Julie decided she would poll the first two people who arrived.
Julie approached the woman and asked her where she had come from. This particular lady had come down from the mountains, just above Average. The woman proceeded to tell her that in her home-town she was known for her striking beauty which brought her both fame and riches. “First of all,” she said, “I never really know who my friends are. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of me. Every time I turn around, someone is suing me, or embezzling from my vast income. Even some of my closest friends have stolen things right out from under me! I’m so unhappy living above Average. The worst part about all my success is that I seem to have lost my relationship with my Lord. Before I had all of this stuff, I used to sit and talk with Him for hours. Yes, I would dream of how He might use me in big ways. I had such sweet fellowship with Him! When I started to get famous, I became arrogant, thinking that my whole identity was wrapped up in how I looked. When those who loved me said that I should be grateful to the Lord for His blessings, I denied my Lord, and screamed at them, ‘Who is the LORD, I did all this myself!’ Finally, I have come back down to earth, realizing that with all of my riches, my beauty, and my fame, I lost the one thing that really mattered: my faith in my Lord. That’s why I have come to Average- to get back to my first love who is Jesus.”
The next person that came into town wasn’t so forthcoming. “I’m not in the mood to talk,” the man grunted as he proceeded into town. Just moments later, the Average sheriff was walking the man to the Average jail when Julie stopped them and asked the man what he had done. The man could barely speak as the tears rolled down his cheeks, “I have walked with God for many years. My family and I have lived below Average for quite some time, happily, I might add. We used to trust the Lord for our daily bread, and He would always provide. I just lost my job and we were on the verge of losing everything; the situation was dire, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have come up to Average because people are so rich here. I thought if I could succeed in finding food for my family, then I would be a good man. Instead, I ended up profaning the name of my God!”
As Julie contemplated the testimonies of the two people, she had an epiphany of Proverbs 30:8 which says, “…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I may not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” She concluded that being average was not so bad after all. In fact, being average was actually a HUGE blessing.
So, the next time you and I are tempted to lament our averageness, let’s remember that sometimes success isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or that life could be worse. Being special is really just a matter of knowing who we are in Christ- not having too much, and not having too little. Most of us are just average, after all… and that, my friend, is the Average Blessing!
Shalom! Big D
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”