We are now in the thirteenth week of ordinary time according to the liturgical calendar. By the end of the year we will have had thirty three weeks of ordinary time.
Ordinary time is a kind of misnomer I think. We live most of our lives in what we would consider ordinary time for our life. Just as in the church our ordinary lives are punctuated by more memorable events.
Some of these events are filled with joy…some are filled with sadness…some are filled with fear…some are filled with peace…some are filled with song…some are filled with silence…some are filled with passion. These exclamation points are scattered about the ordinary time of the days of our life.
Ordinary time is where we do our real living. Ordinary time is where we grow into who we are to be. Ordinary time is where we practice for the times which jolt us into another dimension. The color for ordinary time is green. Green…the color I most associate with life and renewal.
When we are not in ordinary time everything is more intense. In the liturgical calendar we have Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter which take us out of ordinary time for a brief period. We operate at a different level during these times of the year. The liturgical vestments themselves draw our attention out of monotonous green of ordinary time…purple, red, white, even the color rose adorn the sanctuary.
For us so much of our lives seem to be just ordinary nothing special, but it is important to pay attention to those times. I am happy with my ordinary life. Not to say that there are not things I would want to change but for the most part I do have a good life.
What if ordinary time was like the beautiful blue sky backdrop…constant reliable…something you could count on being there always? Ordinary time seems so boring and uneventful, but in reality every day is an event. Every day gives another chance to thank God for what he accomplishes in the ordinary time of our life.
The readings of the church during ordinary time are filled with miracles of healing, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. Most of the ministry of the life of Jesus is presented to us during ordinary time. Ordinary time gives a chance to connect with the real living person of Jesus. Ordinary time gives a chance to see who Jesus really was when he took on flesh and blood. Ordinary time gives us a chance to see ourselves…our story as a part of his ordinary time here on earth with us. We can come to identify with those who walked with Jesus in their ordinary lives.
Martha and Mary were certainly living their lives in ordinary time until Jesus came to visit their home. How exciting that must have been for them.
I do not think I could have walked with Jesus back then and considered it ordinary. But maybe it is just because I can now look back and see the larger picture of who he was/is.
Maybe we should have the ‘Healing Time’ or the Teaching Time’ or the ‘Story Time’ or the ‘Forgiveness Time’. We tend to take ordinary time for granted; it is easy to do so.
With the illness and ultimate death of my friend I was forced into a ‘Grief Time’ when I could not see time as ordinary. As it has only been nine months, I now find myself in another time which will be anything but ordinary.
Don’t tell my husband, but sometimes I catch myself fondly looking back on my younger convent days. Life was so simple and yes ordinary back then. I did not even have to make very many decisions myself. Someone else decided when I was to rise in the morning, what I was to eat at each meal, where I was to go, how I was to spend my time etc. My entire life was planned for me back in those days.
Right now in my life I truly wish I had someone else making all of the many decisions I am facing. It is overwhelming when I think about all that must be done in the next month.
I may not know ordinary again for a long time. Today as we celebrate the 4th of July; I think about our many military families faced with the deployment of their spouse. Their lives are anything but ordinary no matter how much they want to have an ordinary life. You can hardly have ordinary when a loved one is miles away serving for our country.
Losing your ordinary life is like facing another death, only this time is not the death of a single person. It is the death of a way of living. For some it might be exciting to be given the opportunity to create a new way of living, but I do not feel that way. My new ordinary thinking is to just make it through one day at a time…thanking God for the many blessings he has given us. Ordinary or not, life goes on until the day God calls us home to be with him which in turn jolts others from their ordinary lives.
Ordinary time is where we do the most of our living. Live life to the fullest because you never know when what you thought was ordinary will morph into something entirely different.
What do you value most about your ordinary life?
Have you had to accept a ‘new’ ordinary life?