As I woke up slowly that morning, coming out of the fog of some dream or another, I puzzled over what day it might be. When I remembered, I thought happily, “Oh, good. It’s just an ordinary day!” And that was such an unusual thought, it got me musing about “ordinary days.”
As a classic introvert (with a husband who is also an introvert), my best ordinary days are spent at home. They are quiet, well-ordered, full of silence and solitude, and introspection. Days spent “outside,” filled with errands and appointments and people are draining. My sister, on the other hand, is a true social being, happily and constantly on the move. Her days are filled with exercise, gardening, friends, grandchildren, and volunteering in many different ways; her days at home, while sometimes a welcome relief, are hours waiting to be filled. Our “ordinary days” are quite different!
Since I consider myself an apprentice of Jesus, I began to imagine what an ordinary day for Jesus would be like. I remembered a description of the life of Jesus by John Baillie in his classic book Diary of Private Prayer. Baillie thanks God for the life of Jesus who lived “on this common earth” and “under these ordinary skies.” That seems to mean that Jesus lived a life very similar to what ours should be.
The gospel accounts tell us that Jesus spent his days on earth acting in obedience to the will of his Father and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He also used the gifts he was given in ways that revealed God’s glory. He seems not to have been bothered if a plan for the day was interrupted by someone in need; he was constantly alert to the individuals and crowds who called his name. He had time for young children, for lepers, for tax collectors, for sinful women, and for Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin Council which called for his execution. But he also realized the need to “get away” and spend time alone. He valued his relationships – family, his disciples, and his good friends. Jesus was always primed for a teachable moment, perhaps an indication of his reflective, contemplative nature; he always had a story or a lesson or a message or a warning to share.
When Jesus walked on this common earth under these ordinary skies, he was fully human. He was neither an introvert nor an extrovert but a blend of all those character traits. His “ordinary” days were days fueled by a strong, gentle love for those around him, evidenced by his sharing himself in whatever way what God inspired him to share. Our ordinary days, whether we are homebodies or are busy in world of people, should be the same.
As always—this was right on time—I was just thinking to myself about this rainy day here in metro-Detroit. It is rather ordinary, and you’ve just reminded me to be thankful for the ordinary. I’ll always remember a line my youth leader said to me when I was young. I was musing about how ‘boring’ the day was when she lovingly corrected me. ‘Tim it’s not boring, you may be though…’ she said, ‘God, however, is the furthest thing from boring. If you were created by Him then how can there be something boring about today?’ Your lesson in finding beauty and meaning in the ‘ordinary’ things reminds me of that moment. “His “ordinary” days were days fueled by a strong, gentle love for those around him”—thank you, Karen!
As always, thanks for your comment! It is gray and stormy in Holland as well. I used to welcome these days because they gave me an excuses to be “lazy” – read “non-productive.” Now I don’t need excuses to just “be.” I’m enjoying this day just because I’m still alive. I don’t need to be constantly productive any more; God loves me for who I am, not what I do. I’m off to read a police procedural novel now. Yippee!
I love how you think!