I am mediocre at life. What does that mean? Well, keep reading and you will find out!
I have somewhat alluded to this concept somewhat in Curse, but I want to really expand upon it now. This concept I have been developing in my mind for several years now, so bear with me as I try to explain it.
Have you ever played any racing video games? Maybe arcade video games where you have to fight someone? Ever played Mario Kart? (If you haven't go along with me and I will try to explain. If you have, I will be showcasing my nerdiness for a little bit.) In every game where you can pick a different player, they always give you options about what style you can pick. For example, in Mario Kart, you can pick Toad or Yoshi, who have very fast acceleration. Or you can pick Wario or DK, who have very fast top speed. When you pick those players, you have to sacrifice something else in order to get the top whatever you want. To have top acceleration with Yoshi, you have to sacrifice the weight class (meaning turning will be harder and other players can bump into you and spin you out). To have top speed, you can play as Wario, but you have to sacrifice acceleration (so every time you crash, it takes forever for you to get back up to your speed again).
Are any of these better than the other one? No! Absolutely not! It all depends on your playing style. There is no best character in Mario Kart; each character can win depending on who is doing the controlling on the controller. Each player selects the character that most fits their playing style and uses that. That is why there are many options to choose from, because not every person races the same way.
What about Mario? Mario tends to be the all around average character. Mario does not have top speed, top acceleration, or top turning. Mario is just well rounded and is great for pretty much anyone to use when they are beginning.
Many times, I feel like Mario. As I go through life, I feel like there is no one thing I excel at. I don't have "top speed" or "top turning." I am not great at singing (but I can hold a tune if I really focus), I can draw basic drawings if I really concentrate, I don't play many instruments (and those instruments I do know I don't play exceptionally well), I am okay at sports (enough to not lose all the time), I can act enough to play minor roles in plays, I can public speak if needed (but it isn't very eloquent), I can write enough to convey my thoughts (but I am not very poetic in my writing style), and I'm friendly but not really charismatic.
Based on my experience in life through meeting people and talking with them, everyone seems to be good at at least something. Most people tend to excel in one particular area: whether that be the arts, athletics, communication, video games, writing, etc. I don't. There isn't one area I excel at.
For years that annoyed me. I always remembered filling out those questionnaire stuff in school that had questions like, "What are you good at?" I always hated that questions. I had no idea what I was good at. I would start to write, "video games" then I remembered that my friends beat me in them all the time. I started to write, "soccer" but then I remembered I was benched often during games. I started to write, "writing" but then I remembered the teacher's marks from previous years on my papers on where I messed up. I started to write, "drawing" but I remembered my friends mistaking a robot I drew for a cow. For years I had no idea how to answer that question. When trying to find the purpose God had for my life, well meaning Christians would ask, "Well, what are you good at?" And I would think and answer, "I don't know!" Then they would reply, with as much caring and grace as they had, "Oh, come on! Don't be modest! Tell me what you're good at." To which I replied, "No, I really don't know." They would frown in confusion and I would shrug my shoulders, a look of "I'm really sorry?" on my face.
I think the main problem we run into in analyzing this question is our comparisons. It is SO EASY to compare ourselves to other people. I still do it today, and I don't realize it at first. When we look for purpose or look for success, we tend to look at first what the world recognizes as successful and then look to our friends and compare ourselves to them.
First off, the world's perspective is wrong. What the rest of the world will tell you is good and successful is wrong. Money, fame, popularity, and being liked are not things to strive after. Material possessions and praise will only make you feel fulfilled for so long. We need to look to a higher goal if we are to find our real purpose in life.
When we realize that the world doesn't have what we want, we tend to turn to people we are closest to and then we compare our lives to theirs. "My friend Billy is really good at music and he finds so much purpose in singing and playing guitar. Dang... I really wish I could play guitar like Billy..." The thought behind this is, "If I can be good at one thing, then I will be fulfilled."
I bought into this lie for years. It took me until high school to figure this out. I went to a camp one year and God called me to the ministry. If you haven't heard about my call experience, read about it here in Call. I was confused. I didn't know what to believe or think. But it was through that moment that God showed me what my ministry was. I was to literally be "all things to all people." Wherever God wanted me to go, I would go and He would equip me for that task.
I discovered something about myself: God didn't bless me in one area because I wasn't supposed to serve in once area. I was to be available to do whatever is necessary until someone else could step in and do it better. I can relate to a wide variety of people because I dabble in pretty much everything to some degree. I am a gamer, I can play sports, I know music, I can act, etc.
When I took my focus off of comparing myself to other people saying I wasn't really good at anything, I realized that I was just okay at everything. God made me this way for a reason, and I am just beginning to understand it and live it out. I am okay with who I am now and how God made me. I love it!
I am a Mario. I am mediocre. And I'm okay with that!
Following His Call,
1 Corinthians 9:22