In the Christian church calendar, we’re in the midst of the longest “season” of the year, entitled Ordinary Time. Unlike Lent or Easter, Advent or Christmas, this time is considered nothing special—although there are certain special days thrown in, such as yesterday (sometimes moved to the nearest Sunday), which commemorated the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop (Luke 9:28–36).
And yet…is there really ever any time that is truly ordinary? If God only meets us in the present moment (as opposed to when we are lost in our heads, reliving the past or fearing the future), then how can any moment be ordinary? Isn’t every moment truly extraordinary—a gift from God?
Think for a moment about the quality of time that we spend with a loved one—especially if that time is limited for some reason. Don’t we consider every moment to be special? Don’t we tend to savor every bit of time together? And yet…isn’t that really just a mind game? Yes, we are focused specifically on our loved ones when they are present with us—whether it’s a spouse about to leave for military duty overseas or a child home from college for a few short weeks. But doesn’t every moment provide us with gifts, provided we are open to receiving them?
Admittedly, not all gifts are bright and shiny. Sometimes we have to look for the silver (or gold) linings in the clouds. But the very fact of our being alive, in this beautiful, complex world, is in itself extraordinary.
So what if we were to treat all our time as extraordinary? What if the “daily grind” became the “daily gift”? What if we embraced every experience, as everyday mystics have learned to do with such practices as the Welcoming Prayer? And what if we remembered to look for evidence of God’s presence, and gifts, every single day?