Is there such a thing as an ordinary day? Or is each day a gift, extraordinary in its own right? Do these extraordinary days come wrapped in the cloak of the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane and so escape my notice? Psalm 118:24 proclaims,
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” King David writes these words in Psalm 139:16,
“All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be”
So maybe there’s no such thing as an ordinary day. If each day is already numbered and known to God shouldn’t I be making the most of each and every one of them? Ephesians 5:15-16 gives me this instruction regarding how to spend my days,
“Be very careful, then, how you (I) live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
It certainly does seem that these days are evil. I can feel surrounded by darkness if I don’t look for the light and let it into my life – the darkness will engulf me and I will lose my way. 1 John 1:5-7 tells me,
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
When darkness surrounds me, I can’t find my way out of it. I need something or someone to show me the way – the way out of my darkness, the way out of my pain, the way out of despair. Jesus showed us the way (actually He said He was the way) saying in John 8:12,
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”
Even though these are dark days, John 1:5 reminds me that darkness does not win out over light.
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.”
That’s good to know because some days it seems like the darkness is winning. It has been a painfully dark few days here in my city due to a shooting which took the lives of unsuspecting people, leaving gaping holes in the lives of those that knew and loved them. For them, for all of us, it was an ordinary day at work until it wasn’t anymore. But truly, there are no ordinary days. Jesus says in Matthew 6:34,
” . . . Each day has enough trouble of its own.” but He prefaces that statement with “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
How true! I never know what a day will bring. My day begins with a cold, gray drizzle, but ends with a warm, gloriously colored sunset. (other days can be the exact opposite – easier beginning, harder ending) Some days seem less eventful than others, perhaps not marked by any milestones or momentous occasions needing to be noted and duly celebrated. It is these seemingly more ordinary days, filled with the myriad, mundane interactions that make up our lives, that are so full of promise, possibility and potential. I don’t want to waste a one of them because as I am so often reminded these days, I don’t know which one will be my last. So each day becomes precious and special in its own right. There are no ordinary days. My Heavenly Father has numbered them all, each one of them, before they even came to be!
A dear friend just lost her granddaughter in a tragedy. As I grieve with her and for her and for her family, I can’t help but be reminded once again, that each day is a gift and each life is precious to the One who created all life. (not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His notice – Matthew 10:29) I want to be thankful for that gift and to make the most of it. I want to make the most of each day I am given. William Penn must have felt that way too, because he said these words which have always resonated with me,
“I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
I walk wide awake through life, with a heart full of holes from each and every loss, but a heart still beating nonetheless, until such time as my number of days has been fulfilled. That number of days is made up of ordinary days, which fully lived will add up to an extraordinary life. That’s the secret, isn’t it? This gift of life we have been given is extraordinary. But we live out this gift one day at a time, in the context of oh so ordinary days. And only in retrospect do we come to see that our days weren’t so ordinary after all. Yet I have taken so many of my days for granted by failing to be thankful, by failing to see the beauty, the uniqueness and the opportunities that each new day brings to me moment by moment.
I don”t get to choose the number of my days, but I do get to choose how I will live each one of them. Joshua challenged the Israelites to choose how they would spend their days, or more accurately to choose whom they would spend their days serving.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Choose this day, every day is a day of decision. I read about “today” in Hebrews 3:12-15,
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the Living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. . . . Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
As I write this post, I confess – today seems to be an ordinary day for me. And yet it is a day of importance and of decision, it is a day of important decisions as is every day I receive as a gift from God. I have just been given two important decisions to make – choosing this day whom I will serve and choosing not to harden my heart to my Heavenly Father’s voice as He speaks through His Holy Spirit. Yes, every day is a day of decisions that will have an eternal impact upon my life and the lives of those around me. That does not sound like an ordinary day to me. Or maybe that’s the irony. In the midst of an ordinary day, the extraordinary takes place. In the midst of the mundane, miracles arise. Everyday miracles are all around me. I just have to open my eyes (and my heart) to behold them.
Today is a day to mourn. Today is a day to rejoice. Today is a day for wailing. Today is a day for singing. Today is a day to decide and to declare who I will serve and what I will live for. Today is an ordinary day. Today is an extraordinary day. Today is a day for mustard seeds of faith to be planted. Today is a day for miracles amid the mundane to be harvested.
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us (I will) rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
sincerely, Grace Day