Extraordinary Ordinary

It was a remarkable day filled with the ordinary. We spent the day with friends and family in Buffalo saying goodbye. It was ordinary. But that word sounds like an insult to most. No one aspires to be ordinary. The word itself comes to us from Old French meaning “belonging to the usual order or course,” and from the Latin meaning “customary, regular, usual, orderly,”

Conversations were about children and grandchildren, about recent activities, the food we were sharing, hobbies, even some national and church politics.

The time we spent belonged to the “usual order” of time spent with friends or family members. Time that was good and precious. Made more so by the added fact that it would now become rare to be able to have this time with them.

Nancy’s sisters made special effort to see us when we stopped to see her parents. My mother was at home and then my sister came home to see us. Al, Barbara, and Sueanne made time in busy schedule to share a meal. We have oftenspent time with them all doing these very things – they are part of the usual order of our relating to these special people. It was ordinary but we also realized it was extraordinary. It was a blessed ordinary that filled and fulfilled us.

How often we humans wish for the exotic, the unusual, that which is special missing the specialness of the ordinary. What we need to see is the gift and blessing of the ordinary, to be aware of the way in which “the usual” can be extra-ordinary as well as extraordinary at the same time

Savor the ordinary conversation, the present relationship and the comfort of friendships that have endured over time. Be aware and savor the present, what on the surface may even seem mundane… for in it is warp and weft that makes up the fabric of our life.

May you have a sense of extraordinary ordinary in this day… week… life…


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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