Our culture has always valued and rewarded exceptional people. I don’t have a problem with that; I value exceptional people too. The problem is that I’m an extremely average guy, and while there are many things I do fairly well, I’m not exceptional at anything.
I have tried to play many sports, and while I’m perhaps slightly above average at a couple of them, I’m not really good at any. I’m fairly intelligent, but even in the laboratory where I work; there are people way brighter than me. I’m a decent “handy man” who can repair quite a few things around the house, but I’m not an electrician, plumber, or carpenter. I run in marathons, but when compared with other male marathon runners my age, I’m not even in the top half. I’m a decent writer, but I’m not in the same league as others who write professionally.
So where does all this leave an average guy like me? I can have fun playing individual sports, but usually I’m not good enough to be invited to join in when teams are playing. I get to take on some challenges where I work, but the really important things are decided by the really smart people. I can make repairs on my own home, and on the homes of my family and friends, but if the problem is big, you better call in the professionals. I continue to run, but my only goals are to improve upon my own individual times. I write for fun, and some people enjoy reading my ramblings, but I better not give up my day job!
Another of the things that I’m average at is music. I can read music, sing, and play a couple of instruments, but I’m just average. I have sung and played instruments as part of a group, but when it was time for a solo, it was always the exceptional people who were chosen to perform. I’ve long believed that I could sing a fairly decent solo if given an opportunity on a reasonable song, and allowed ample time to practice, but at age 48, I knew it wasn’t likely to ever happen.
Two weeks ago, I found out that my “Holy Cow” puppet character was going to be one of the principle characters in the Children’s Christmas program at our church. At the same time our choir director said she would like the “Holy Cow” to sing one verse of the song “The Friendly Beasts” as a solo. I was unfamiliar with the song, but jumped at the chance anyway. After listening to the song on u-tube, and singing along with the group a hundred times, I thought I was ready.
Today, Jim Lindlauf, an average singer, made his solo singing debut at the Augustana Lutheran Church Children’s Christmas program while portraying the “Holy Cow!” Once in a while we average people get our chance to shine and it makes us feel exceptional, even if only for a moment or two. Today was one of those days for me, and I’m still floating in the clouds!