You would expect a fire-fighter, soldier or policeman. Or at least a comic book superhero.
He drew a Starbucks barista.
This first grader seemed to have it all wrong. How did a person who brewed high-priced java become a hero in his little mind?
When my wife, his teacher, asked him why he drew the barista, he said in his matter-of-fact lisp, “It’s my mom. She makes coffee and helps people get going to work in the morning”.
In his little mind, that utterly normal lady doing a mundane job for average workers on their way to common occupations was anything but ordinary.
She was special. She was a superhero. She made a difference.
Could it be that the little guy was right?
Some weeks finding anything remotely remarkable in the banal routines of living is as daunting as the proverbial search for the haystack needle.
For me, this was one of those weeks.
Looking back, I know there was more to this week than I am seeing now but the fog of commonplace is pretty thick.
Weeks like this make it hard grasp the larger truth written by God over my life that declares: “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:28-30).
More than conquerors? Right now that appears as absurd as the coffee lady turned Wonder Woman.
A lot of times I don’t feel like a conqueror partly because it seems I have faced nothing that needed conquering.
- No mountain peaks to assault.
- No violent predictors to confront.
- No evil foes to vanquish.
- No fe-fi-foing giants to fell.
- No fire-breathing dragons to repel.
While I know those things and much more are in the world, it seemed none of them existed in my world. I’m not asking for trouble, but sometimes it just seems silly to strap on the sword only to find myself cleaning toilets.
So today I don’t feel like any sort of conqueror…and definitely not the “more than” kind. Yet the fact remains, “more than” is precisely what God calls me and how He sees me.
So I asked Him about it. Why do I feel like “less than” instead of “more than” when I picture a conqueror?
Here’s what I heard. I am “more than” a conqueror when:
- I believe “too good to be true”. If I cling to the reality that there is a Kingdom in the here and now that is more than the here and now, I am conquering lies with truth.
- I attempt “too much to do”. If I put my hands to tasks that at the surface appear insignificant but because I do them for Him they matter, I am conquering shadow with substance.
- I face “too hard to explain”. If I embrace what He has said in the face of what may seem inexplicable and contradictory, I am conquering image with integrity.
- I survive “too tough to endure”. If I get up from the canvas when life hammers me with double-fisted blows from apathy to agony, I am conquering pain with perseverance.
- I return from “too far gone”. If I keep struggling to find the right path even after getting lost for the umpteenth time, I am conquering history with destiny.
In all THESE things, I am experiencing the “more than” side of conquest.
Our victory in life is not summed up by any given week. The “winning” part is a longer spectrum and a larger scope.
I am a conqueror solely because of what Jesus did. I become more than a conqueror when I wager everything I am and all that I do on it.
While I don’t face epic battles every week and frequently feel my impact is as trivial as a barista making coffee to get sleepy people to work in the morning, I know that the eternal is wearing my normal like a second skin.
There is more to life than I see and more to me than I feel at any given moment.
This world is a cosmic battleground between reality and unreality. Living every day in the everyday can numb me to the truth of that war that surrounds me.
But regardless of whether I am in the trenches or behind the coffee bar, I am a champion. Because that is what Jesus says I am–and what He died to guarantee that I become.
I am more than a conqueror.
Now for a cup of coffee to celebrate!