Weekly Challenge: Be Ordinary
Sigh. This week is going to be a real challenge.
Here it is… live in the moment. Not just in the moment, but more so… in the season. Which is not Christmas!! ARGH!! Why not?? I’m so ready—aren’t you?
As soon as those jack-o-lanterns are burnt out and moldly, it’s tree time, amiright?
Here in Southern Louisiana we average about 3 weeks of winter… most of which falls in February. We had a surprising cold snap last weekend, making my heart long for the smell of a glittery fir covered in lights. Sigh. Now it’s back to almost 90 degrees, and it’s only November 5th.
I don’t think the longing for Christmas is bad… after all we mark the birth of Christ—shouldn’t we celebrate the incarnation everyday? That isn’t even rhetorical—we absolutely should. But the Church, like a patient mother who has told her children repeatedly “you have to wait” and “don’t ask me again”, she sets aside a special season just for the sacred preparation before Christmas. Advent! Well, my friends, I’m so sorry to inform you, but Advent is still weeks away!
So what do we do with this November ordinary time that seems to drag on year after year? Be Thankful—sure, that’s a given, but there must be something more…
We end this month and liturgical year with the celebration of Christ the King. In an area that celebrates kingship so vividly through Mardi Gras, we have a great appreciation for the royalty of our King and his Queen mother. But in the in between… before the Thanks, and the Kingship, what about the ordinary?
We have to just be.
And being is okay. It’s actually quite holy. Our challenge this week is to Be Ordinary. Embrace the ordinary time we have left, Celebrate the Tuesdayness of this Tuesday. Enjoy what it is to be alive at 8:13AM. Because life is happening now. It is what happens when we’re waiting for what’s next. Hobby Lobby doesn’t have an everyday decorations aisle. We have to find our own extraordinary in the ordinary.
How to do this:
(1) Begin your day with the excitement and energy of Buddy the Elf... enjoy that cup of coffee like it is the World's Greatest!
(2) When someone asks: “How’ve you been?” don’t reply “Busy” as you normally might, listing all of the crazy things you’ve been running from and to…all of the tests, projects, errands, events, blah blah blah—tell them you’ve been “Just Ordinary. And I’m really enjoying it.”
(3) Find the joy in the mundane. “You know what—I did laundry today—have you ever thought about the act of laundry? We actually have a machine that takes the sweat, spills, and dirt of our day and removes it so we can have a fresh start. What a miracle!”
(4) Call and old friend. That call you’ve been putting off because you can’t think of anything to talk about. Call and talk about nothing. “What did you do today? I went to Target and accidently wore red and khaki. People kept asking me where the candles were.”
(5) Stop listening to Christmas music.
P.S. Full disclosure: Christmas music was definitely playing in the background while this blog was composed. Nobody’s perfect.