It was an ordinary day, another ordinary day. By that I mean it looked to be the same as the day before had been and the same as the day that would inevitably follow was expected to be. I spent my day looking for the extraordinary, waiting for the extraordinary to show up and change my life. That didn’t happen and so it remained an ordinary day. Or so I thought.
A day like any other day. I wake up and take a shower with clean water (an ordinary day), with hot water (an ordinary day). I put on warm, dry, clean clothes (an ordinary day). I have good, nutritious food to eat for breakfast and to pack for my lunch (an ordinary day). I have a hat for my head, shoes for my feet and gloves for my hands (an ordinary day) I have a job to go to and a car that runs well to get me there in safety (an ordinary day). I have a home to return to after work (an ordinary day). I can stop for gas, groceries and anything else I need on my way home (an ordinary day). My home is warm or cool as needed and I have a bed for sleep, not the floor (an ordinary day).
It occurred to me then that my ordinary day is extraordinary in every way to most of the people currently living here on this earth. And I do not recognize nor appreciate this extraordinariness of the days I live. My eyes are blinded by what I have grown used to and so take for granted. No, today I did not win the lottery nor any other unexpected award or accolade. But if that is the measure of my day, I am sure to miss the magic of the miracles hidden in every mundane moment of my day, while waiting on something that never materializes.
Again I am reminded that my so called “ordinary day” has been filled with extraordinary moments. Did I notice them when they occurred? Do I remember them now? I think of the stark beauty of the morning moon in the sky, taking my breath away as I drove to work today. I think back over my day. Encouraging words from a co-worker, an unexpected hug from a student, being inspired as my favorite song plays on the car radio, a neighbor’s warm greeting, time for a conversation with a friend, an opportunity to be of help to someone else, something to laugh about and someone to share the laugh with, the chance to brighten someone’s day with a smile and a kind word, the privilege of praying for a loved one or for anyone, reading God’s word; these are only some of the not so mundane moments that blend together to make up my ordinary day, which isn’t so ordinary after all.
How extraordinary in this world to wake up in safety, go to work in safety, go to sleep in safety. How extraordinary in this world to move about in freedom; to choose your work, to choose your spouse, to choose where you will live, where you will shop, where you will worship, indeed if you will worship at all. You are free to choose all these things and so much more. How extraordinary.
In truth, perhaps there are no ordinary days. Each day is a gift from God, each day is unique in its’ own right, never to be repeated, not to be taken for granted, not to be wasted or wished or squandered away. I think days are like snowflakes and people, no two are exactly alike, despite their infinite numbers. Only an infinite Creator God could accomplish something like that, and He has. (I’m reminded of the movie, Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray keeps living the same day over and over again. Each one turns out differently as he makes different choices each time. Even in the repetition there is variation and room for surprise, change and growth).
I am grateful for each new day, even when from my perspective they look like they are going to be a repeat of the day before, with nothing new. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” That’s what I count on, what I look forward to; a new beginning each day, a clean slate every morning, another chance to right the wrongs of yesterday, to make up for my mistakes and do better than I did the day before. I get a chance to fix what I broke yesterday, to offer apology, to heal the hurt, to do for someone what I left undone; I am given another chance to lay down and be the bridge. What a gracious God to give me that opportunity, another day to live, another day of opportunity to do good to those I will come into contact with on this one of a kind, never to come again day.
What an extraordinary God to grant me such extraordinary days. Thank you, Lord.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
sincerely, Grace Day