Being Extraordinary for God

God calls us to be the best we can be—faithful, honest, charitable and kind. But what does "the best" mean today?

Often we measure our success by our work. Yet, being the best to God doesn't mean we have to be rich and famous or wildly successful by the standards of this world. Nor does it mean we have to be rocket scientists, doctors or lawyers (or even ministers). But as the faithful, we are expected to recognize and use the talents He gave us to do our very best.

Consider the challenge in Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go."

God calls us ordinary individuals to be extraordinary—exceptional parents, remarkable sons and daughters, devoted husbands and wives, and faithful servants to one another. The Bible gives many examples of these types of everyday people called to do extraordinary things for God.

Consider Noah and his ark. Noah was a mere carpenter—but one with faith—and through Noah's work, God spared the world. Or consider Joseph. The favorite son and envied brother, this ordinary young man with a coat of many colors went on to be chief consultant to a king. And don't forget Mary and Martha. These sisters served Jesus intimately with Martha's wonderful meals and Mary's alabaster box of perfume. Through their faith, and Jesus' miracle, they saw their brother Lazarus raised from the dead.

These famous names mean something to us as Christians. They represent some of our fondest Bible heroes, people who accomplished great things in the name of the Lord. But the names Mike, Linda, Bruce and Maryam mean something too. Like our Bible heroes, these ordinary individuals stand out because of their extraordinary work. Through their jobs at Adventist Health, these people extend the healing mission of Jesus Christ. Every day, they use their unique talents and gifts to help heal the world—body, mind and spirit.

As chairman of the Adventist Health board of directors, it is my privilege to introduce this special health care edition of the GLEANER. Some jobs are not glamorous but as you read these pages, you'll realize there is no task too small to be extraordinary. Whether it's reading about telecomm phenom Mike Bickford, plant services manager Bruce Price, hospitalist Maryam Jamshidi, or Linda Heyne and her team of amazing volunteers, I know you will enjoy learning about the extraordinary work happening in our health system.

Today I challenge you to be exceptional and in the words of an old hymnal favorite, to "brighten the corner where you are." No matter if it's pounding a nail on an ark, wiring a building, interpreting dreams or tending the sick, God has a plan for you. Use your gifts to honor God and in everything—be extraordinary.

Featured in: October 2008