I was visiting with a couple of good friends at the baseball field on Tuesday night (where else do folks with young kids get to see one another?). They were telling me about a recent conversation between the two of them regarding an old friend. The husband, in an attempt to describe his friend since childhood, said that he “was just a good guy…you know, consistent…sort of vanilla.”
This pushed us toward a brief conversation on what it meant to be “vanilla”. What does that indicate? Solid, yet not flashy? Consistent, but not special?
My friend went on to say that he would describe himself as “vanilla.” Just sort of average.
This caused me to start thinking. My friend is a great dad and husband, runs a phenomenal business, keeps himself in great physical condition and is extremely active in his church and faith. He’s got a permanent smile on his face and exudes a quiet strength and confidence that makes him extremely approachable. He’s also incredibly humble.
Didn’t Jesus like vanilla?
Mark 1:16-22 tells us that he called Simon, Andrew, James and John- fisherman- to join him in becoming “fishers of men.” These guys weren’t theologians and scholars…they were everyday people. Workers.
In Luke 19:1-10 we learn about Zacchaeus, a tax collector (not the most popular of professions in any era) and someone who was short in stature. His heart was convicted to follow Jesus and he confessed his sins, eventually becoming a disciple and paying back the money he had cheated of his clients.
The Bible is filled with Jesus using plain, ordinary people to do incredible things.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Remember that discipleship starts from the heart, and it radiates for all to see- regardless of what we think about ourselves.
Being vanilla ain’t that bad, partner.
Let me know how I may pray for you…and please pray for me. God bless you.