Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

An Ordinary Day

If I have never told you, my daughter is an amazing vocalist. She joined choir as a sophomore, and she made the Oklahoma All-State Choir her first year. Now that she is a senior, she is the school's only three-time all-stater. This week, we are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the OAKE National Honor Choir.

Today, we drove down to Shanksville to the United Flight 93 memorial. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Flight 93, it was a flight that departed Newark, NJ, on 9/11/2001. Shortly after take-off, it was hijacked and headed toward the nation's capitol. When the passengers on-board began to understand the situation, they joined together to take over the flight.

It crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania at 10:03 am, killing all 40 passengers and crew members.

These passengers boarded a plane that morning, that very ordinary morning. They had no idea their lives would end within an hour. They had no idea they would be hailed as heroes by a grateful nation. They had no idea their final phone calls would be recorded for all the world to hear. They had no idea they would be forever memorialized in such a sacred way.

And the field where the plane crashed?

It was a common field one day. It is a field of honor forever.

The events of 9/11/2001 occurred before my daughter or her friend were even born. Although my daughter learned about 9/11 in history, there was much of the story of Flight 93 she had never heard. To walk those hallowed grounds. To see the names and faces of the heroes who saved our nation's capitol and an untold number of lives. To listen to the voices as they told their family members they were loved one final time.

Nothing I say can convey the power...the sacredness...the emotion...the grief...the gratitude.

The events of one ordinary day changed the course of our world forever.

Todd Beamer didn't wake up that morning planning to become a hero, but it was a role he spent his life preparing for. In the memorial is a Bible study on Integrity that he had been studying with a group of men.

Jeremy Click didn't wake up on 9/11/2001 planning to become a hero, but he had spent his entire life preparing for it. His black belt is encased in the memorial.

Tom Burnett didn't wake up on his final day on this earth planning to become a hero, but as a vice-president and chief operating officer of a medical device company, he had just the leadership skills necessary to lead the revolt.

They were all in the right place, at the right time, with just the right skills.

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21

Scripture talks repeatedly about training for righteousness, about being prepared when the moment comes for your ordinary day to become extraordinary. Maybe not in those exact words, but think about the whole of scripture.

In Joshua 3:5, the Israelites are told to "consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

In 1 Timothy 4:7, we are told to train ourselves for godliness.

Job 8:7 tells us that He will make our ordinary lives extraordinary.

If we want to be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to our Master, we must keep ourselves pure. We must train ourselves for righteousness. We must consecrate ourselves in preparation for seeing God move in mighty ways.

But what does that look like in real life? The next verse tells us.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22

Honestly, it's not that hard. We remove those things that shouldn't be in our lives. The trash. The smut. Maybe it's the movies we watch or the music we listen to. Maybe it's what we look at on the internet. Or maybe it's just the attitudes within our heart. The anger. The bitterness. The lack of forgiveness.

But when we remove these things from our lives, there's a hole that needs to be filled. What are you going to fill it with? Thoughts that are lovely and true and noble and right and excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8-9). The Word of God. Worship that points our hearts back to God. Companionship of our fellow Christians.

The more we fill our hearts with the things of God, the more prepared we are when the opportunity comes our way.

The opportunity to share the hope we have in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 3:15).

The opportunity to comfort others the way we have been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4).

The opportunity to be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to our Master.

The opportunity to see an ordinary day become the day you are in the right place at the right time to change the course of someone else's life--just like the passengers of United Flight 93.