Embrace the Ordinary

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his [or her] happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.        – -Andy Rooney

Most people spend their lives in pursuit of the extraordinary. We look at the lives of celebrities, glorify their excesses, and wish that our lives could be more like theirs.

It causes young women to desire the same wedding as a Hollywood movie star, spending money her parents don’t have on her extraordinary day. It causes the young man to buy the BMW, when a Kia is all he can afford.

We have a fear of being ordinary. We are ashamed if we don’t have what everyone else has.

We fear that our lives don’t matter, that our work isn’t recognized, that we are simply ordinary, not special.

Think of all the special, extraordinary moments you can recall in your life. If you added them all together, they might make up 1% of your time on earth.

Is it exciting, yes, important, sure, but what about the other 99%? What about all those other days, the ordinary ones? Not the birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, parties, or winning the big game, but the quiet ordinary days.

We need to embrace those too!

The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things. – – Veronique Vienne

If we are so consumed with the big event this weekend, then we miss so much.

We miss the beauty of the day.

We miss the changing of the seasons.

We miss our baby’s smile.

We miss the way milk turns purple, when you finish your bowl of cereal with blueberries.

We miss the daffodils and tulips that welcome spring and the sound of water splashing in the pool as kids giggle with summer delight.

We miss sitting by a fire on a chilly autumn night, sharing stories with friends over a cold beer.

When we look at the extraordinary life of Jesus, it was for the most part pretty ordinary. Nothing special about being born in a manger, traveling on foot, spending his first 30 years as a carpenter working with his dad, avoiding celebrity by asking people not to tell of the miracles he performed. But, his rising from the dead was the most extraordinary event in history!

Instead of fearing being ordinary, Jesus simply embraced it.

And, He accepts us just as we are, with our fears, failures, and shortcomings. He accepts us, sinner that we all are, with open arms and eternal salvation. He accepts us as ordinary people capable of extraordinary things.

Frequently, we hear stories of heroism. We hear of a soldier, jumping on a grenade to save his platoon, or the fireman, who goes back into a house engulfed in flames to save a young child. We hear of people who use their vacation time to help a town rebuild following a tornado.

Most of these heroes would call themselves ordinary. But, at that moment, they rose to the occasion to do something special, something extraordinary.

We hear it said that we should live in the moment, not to re-live the past or spend time worrying about tomorrow. We need to drink in everything around us, the ordinary things, and when the extraordinary happen, we can enjoy it more fully.

Let’s thank God for every moment, even the ordinary ones.

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