Sunday, June 28, 2020

Just Another Ordinary Day

What day is it?

It may be that Covid 19, which has affected millions of people, has now redefined the meaning of “daily”. Alternatively, it may just be the constant reminders that I am aging, like an irritating and insistent buzzing in one’s thoughts that gets louder and louder. Regardless, over the past several months I have found that each day, while it may have a different name (such as Monday, or Friday), number, and month, has become more regimented and repetitive than ever before. Each day seems to lack serendipity, adventure and distinctiveness. In a phrase, yesterday, today, and likely tomorrow, become “just another ordinary day”. There is limited verve, vigour, energy and excitement in my days as they troop their way through each week. Each day is a soldier, lining up, one by one from left to right, uniformed and marching seven abreast down the calendar until reaching month-end when the page is flipped, and the soldiers disappear only to start the relentless parade down a new page.

Just another ordinary day.

But is it really? Is there any such thing as an “ordinary day”? Perhaps our imprisonment in the “ordinary” is self-imposed. We willingly choose to believe that the door to the cell is closed, but in truth it remains unlocked.  Our freedom to make each day something more than living in a drab cell is our choice.  We need only decide to escape the humdrum interior of our ordinary days. As my parents would remind me on long vacation road trips, “If you are bored, you have no one to blame but yourself”.

I believe that there is no such thing as an ordinary day, except for one of our own making. Instead, every moment is filled with uniqueness. Our days need not drone on like soldiers on parade.

In the same way, there is no such thing as an ordinary person. Just as each day is filled with opportunities and potential, I believe that each person is uniquely qualified to experience his or her journey of days as would an explorer.

C. S. Lewis on Twitter: "“There are no ordinary people. You have ...

Of course, there is security in the routine of an “ordinary day”. It is predictable and safe. In the same way, being an “ordinary person” living “ordinary days” frees us from responsibility to make the most out of life. But we pay a terrible price for enduring the ordinary; guilt, boredom and fear.

What can I do to change my ordinary into extraordinary? My temptation is to fill my calendar with exciting activities. But, like any false promise, these episodic experiences are short-lived. No, much more radical steps are required to ensure that I invest myself, and the hours I have each day, rather than carelessly spending the precious gift of life that I wake up to each morning.

To start, we need to recognize that it is never too late to opt out of ordinariness. The extraordinary is available to us each day. But we must be willing to search for it, to grasp hold of it, to nurture it, and to share it. It might be cleverly hidden in the simple, like a smile that penetrates politeness. Or it might be desperately complex, like taking the initiative to forgive, or seek forgiveness, to right a wrong.

    Your life is something opaque, not transparent, as     long as you look at it in an ordinary human way.           But if you hold it up against the light of God's             goodness, it shines and turns transparent, radiant     and bright. And then you ask yourself in                     amazement: Is this really my own life I see before     me? Albert Schweitzer.

There is no such thing as ordinary. Each of us, and each day that we live, is extraordinary.



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