By Ginny Jensen

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni was a novel from my book club that I would not have chosen to read on my own. The book had many lessons embedded in it. So as not to spoil your reading experience, I will not give you the whole story line. The book is about Sam’s life journey to acceptance of a physical trait. This trait had cost him much in being bullied and marginalized. Even as an adult, he hid to make himself acceptable to the world.

In the process of this journey, Sam struggled to live up to his mom’s mantra for him. She was always telling him that he would live an extraordinary life. This was beyond his ability to believe but he kept hoping and trying to be extraordinary.

I sometimes feel like Sam. There are aspects of our lives that we do not find acceptable; and sometimes society agrees. As children of the Most High God, should we not be living extraordinary lives?

It seems the only thing holding us back is ourselves.

  • What is it about you that is hard to accept?
  • What do you cover up so others don’t see?
  • Do you just tolerate those traits you wish you could change?
  • How do you fully embrace the you God so wondrously and uniquely created (Ps. 39)?

Sam did everything he could think of to fit in and do the extraordinary things his mom desired. As an adult, he became successful in his career by continuing to hide. He felt he had accepted his lot in life until something happened to show him he was still hiding.

We have been hiding since Adam and Eve. When we hide, we miss out on the extraordinary things Christ has for us. Hiding does more than cover up the true you, it limits your ability to see God at work. Just like Sam, we notice the negative. We are not free to accept His invitation to the extraordinary.

In reality, Sam led an extraordinary life. God used him to touch others in unique ways. His influence reached far beyond his inner circle. When we stop hiding, we have freedom to do what the Lord is inviting us to do – live an extraordinary life with Him.

 

Discussion:

In response to this blog post, copy and paste the link of this blog and share it to your social media with an answer to one of these questions. You could even journal your answers.

  • What practices or disciplines do you have in place to keep your focus on the Lord and not on hiding?
  • Bible characters and the saints down through history have all practiced ways of growing in grace (2 Pet 3:18). People are still practicing these disciplines today. What works for you?

Resources:

Header picture from Bolivia