I’ve been thinking about “average” a lot lately. When I was growing up, “average” was not something to which I was taught to aspire. Instead, we were taught to do our best at everything. It was what God and our parents expected from us. So, I tried very hard to excel in grades and school activities. In my mind, even our little town was anything BUT average. It was (and is) special. The Madisonville High School Class of 1982, my high school class, was exceptional…and still is. Friendships among us remain strong in spite of the years that have passed. Even with all of these special and exceptional things, there were still areas where I was average at best. Take basketball! Even though I was “above average” height, I just didn’t appreciate the whole concept of someone getting in “my space” trying to take “my ball”! Leave me alone and I might play better! Being tall had its advantages, but it didn’t translate to basketball for me. It also didn’t make it easy to buy pants. The “average” length is too short and the “tall” is too long.
So where are you going with this, Karen? Glad you asked! Several years ago, I was in a car accident that resulted in a severe fracture of the femur in my left leg. It took about 5 years and multiple surgeries to heal. During those surgeries, bone was removed that shortened that leg about an inch and a half. So now, when people ask how tall I am, I often quip, “Depends on which leg I’m standing on! I’m 5’8” on one and 5’6.5” on the other!” BUT, I did notice recently as I was walking up to a store and spied my reflection, that my pants aren’t too short on the “average” length leg! Average isn’t so bad! There are areas in our lives where we give it our best, and our best is average, and that is perfectly ok…in fact, it’s the way God made us.
As I write this column, there are tragedies in our country and state that people are dealing with.
Just like us.
A bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tornadoes and severe weather across Oklahoma. An explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Above average, below average and average people are all impacted.
And you know what else?
just like us
are rising up and being anything but average. They are helping their friends and neighbors. They are helping strangers. They are providing supplies to their churches and donation sites to be shipped to devastated areas. They are praying for each other. In short, they are being
God can do great things with average. Never assume that because you consider yourself average, He can’t do great things with you, too! I am reminded of the wisdom that my husband has often shared with our children as they have grown, especially when they think they’ve had “the worst day ever”. He will kindly point out that this is certainly not the worst day of their life. They didn’t lose a parent or have a life-changing injury. He’ll also acknowledge that it’s not the best day of their life either, and then he helps them realize that in the grand scheme of life…it’s just an “average” day!
I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel like we live in an exceptional place. We are surrounded by a community of exceptional people, and I feel blessed by all of them. I am especially thankful for our advertisers. Please take the time to thank them as well. They make what we do possible. And there’s NOTHING average about that!
Until next time ~ Karen
P.S. – Congratulations to Jeff Jeter, our photo contest winner! See more on page 27.