Thursday, July 1, 2010

BEN : It still strikes me as odd . . . .

It still strikes me as odd that Ordinary is the title of the sacred time during the calendar by which we mark the intermediate period between the Ascension and the Advent. After so many months of monumental celebrations and observances, Ordinary seems so void of anything spectacular, anything that might closely resemble The One who will come again in all glory.
Ordinary, for me at least, is much less sacred than you make it sound. It is a constant tug-of-war between action and contemplation. Ordinary life comes with demands and expectations from all different directions. It’s a crazy labyrinth to navigate: being a parent, husband, son, brother, friend, Christ-follower, and professional.
What if I don’t like Ordinary at all?
I’m liking less and less the need to get on a plane and miss yet another pillow fight with my three year old who just loves it when I gently knock him down with a sofa cushion, only to spend a few minutes on the floor laughing and then finding the endless energy to get up and challenge me all over again.
It’s strange that the mass adoption of technology like Skype and FaceTime is supposed to make me feel better about not being physically present with those I love. And yet I rely on all these tools in the name of love. Is that Ordinary or my ordinary?
I’m less and less impressed with the rapid accumulation of rewards points I have with airlines, and hotels. I fear these people may know more about me than some members of my extended family. And what about my online florist? Often, companies like that become the ones who deliver sentiments of love in my absence.
I struggle to maintain my habit of daily prayers and wonder if this is the Ordinary you describe or just my ordinary. What would St. Benedict write today if he were still writing his Rule?
Ordinary, in its larger sense, is blah. It’s boring. Some might even say it’s not worth noting. Perhaps those who crafted this calendar ran out of ideas and Ordinary is nothing more than an ancient “miscellaneous” category. Life is supposed to be about sensation and the thrill of the hunt, right?
I certainly don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but I just don’t “get” Ordinary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The word "ordinary" has been floating around in my psyche in the phrase - the blessing of ordinary things. It seems that there are extraordinary things that happens when certain things become commonplace, usual, commonly encountered. Most recently, I have been struck by what should be "ordinary" - offering grace, the benefit of the doubt, a kind word, a listening heart.
Perhaps ordinary time is a time to open up space for God to make those qualities that I so deeply long for, the things that will transform me more into his likeness into the things others will commonly encounter, perhpas even come to expect, when they encounter me...

Juli Gallup