There are some woods near my office that I occasionally go trail running in. Despite the muddy conditions, I really enjoy being immersed in a mostly unadulterated natural environment. During a recent run, I caught a glimpse of a large woodpecker flying from tree to tree as I passed by. It’s bright red crest was remarkable against the dull gray and brown hues of the winter forest. In a split second, the beautiful bird was out of view and I had nothing more than a memory of the unique encounter. I was glad I got to see the unusual bird.
A few days later I was out walking in my hometown when I passed a couple stopped in the middle of the greenway. A man was staring off into some nearby bushes, while his wife waited. I caught a bit of their conversation. “What’s over in those bushes?” the wife asked. “Just some house sparrows,” the man replied. “Nothing out of the ordinary” he finished.
The contrast of that couple’s conversation and the woodpecker I had seen a few days earlier immediately jumped to mind. One bird was eye-catching for it’s uniqueness and beauty. Other birds were ordinary and easy to pass by. It helped that they were sparrows because I also thought of Jesus’s words captured in the book of Matthew: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”
Ordinary things have value but sometimes we overlook them. Sometimes we’re only watching for the most stunning and gorgeous things. We do this with people a lot, don’t we? We follow the most talented and beautiful people closely, but completely ignore everyone that doesn’t fit that criteria.
God’s message is clear in Matthew. Ordinary things like sparrows do matter. They have value. Furthermore the value in people is even greater. The passage goes on to say “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” You can take heart in knowing that even if you are ordinary by human standards, you are incredibly valuable by God’s standards. Additionally, those that may seem ordinary in your eyes are greater than ordinary in the eyes of God. With that said, let’s make sure that we stop and appreciate the ordinary things of life too.