When I think of the moments that stand out in my life over almost seven decades, there are, of course, those monumental ones that shine bright like shooting stars: a birth, a death, a graduation, a wedding, a conversion, a great tragedy, a great trauma. Yet, for the most part, my life, which I imagine is much like yours, consists of millions of simple ordinary moments.
No matter where we are in the world or what our callings are, we take out the trash, clean up the mess under the table, return a text or email or phone call. We wash clothes, dishes, and the messy hands of little ones in our presence. We pay bills regularly to keep the dailyness of life moving forward and we pause to pay our respects when the life of one we know ends here on earth.
We dance in the kitchen, in the rain, or under the moonlight. We enter deep conversations about God, laughter that doubles our bodies over in delight, and light exchanges about the weather. We feel all the feelings, think all the thoughts, ponder all the possibilities, and rehash, rehearse, and release them in conversational prayer to Father, Son, and Spirit.
We taste fresh tears of lament. We delight in the tender hug of a dear friend. We savor fresh raspberries or whatever fruit is in season where you are. We sing loud. We listen long. We rise up. We fall down. We keep going onward, ever towards the life of the Kingdom of heaven by living it out as best we can on earth.
Amid the liturgical calendar, as Pentecost Sunday occurs, we enter into the long season of Ordinary Time, stretching all the way to Advent. Unlike the season from Advent to Pentecost, with bold markers along the way like Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter, this season holds few noticeable events or themes. It’s simply time to be what the first half of the liturgical year shows us about Jesus: alive, alert, attentive to our Father and His people.
We get to live out what it means to be Christ’s followers in a world that follows its own tail. Here we live out the everydayness of resurrection life. Here we deepen our own longing and intimacy with Jesus as we do the normal things of the week. Here we savor beauty and pray against the horrors that decimate people, places, and things we care for each day.
If there were a signature verse for Ordinary Time, I think Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation of Romans 12:1-2 would fit the bill.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
We get to embrace God’s doings in our comings and goings. So, how are we doing with that?
Where are we so absorbed and exhausted in our frenetic pace that we simply aren’t present to the simply glorious people right beside us or the magnificent God we say we want to worship?
Where are we so attuned to His heartbeat that we are readily available when the unexpected moment arrives where we can pause for the celebration or pain of another person?
Where are our prayers so interwoven into our being that we are able to converse at any given moment about the surprise gift from God or the sudden loss that throws us for a loop?
Where are we placing our simple ordinary moments as an offering to the God who sent a cardinal to the windowsill or a bright purple lilac to the hidden side of the house by the garbage bin?
We are moving ever forward in the liturgical calendar towards Advent again, then Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
As we saunter forth, how’s our going bringing glory to God and goodness to those along our path as we pass by?
Ordinary Time invites us to grow green with wonder at the moment at hand.
May you find the wonder that’s tucked inside this curve, and the next one, and the one after that, until we round the bend and tuck ourselves ever so gloriously into the arms of the Most Extraordinary Father who is simply waiting for us ordinary sons and daughters to find our way all the way home.
What in your ordinary days this week is God using to help form and inform your soul?
Drumroll!! Coming June 3rd. . . a new course that you buy once and then use every year you are not able to attend debriefing in person. We believe that debriefing is like doing laundry.
If you debrief on a regular basis your life and ministry are likely to be more useful. Why? Because you know what’s in your metaphorical closet, addressed things before permanent damage occurred, and took proper care of individual items. Our hope is that this course will become an annual part of your year. It is designed for you to use every twelve months so that enough life has happened to sort through, but not so much that you are overwhelmed by the task. Stay tuned!