Finding the Extraordinary in Ordinary Time
Hidden in plain sight.
Sometimes that’s life’s challenge. To recognize the beauty, the sacredness, the God that is right in front of me. Has always been there. In everything. Waiting for me to notice.
Not so easy to do when the rough road blurs my vision and makes me turn inward with questions that get me stuck in my mind. Getting lost in thought puts me in a trance that prevents me from being present. Present to what’s right in front of me.
That had been happening quite a bit as I faced some tough questions and hard situations in what feels like an in-between place to somewhere else.
But a wise Sister who has been accompanying me as my spiritual companion while I’m in San Antonio helped wake me up. She did it by asking an odd question.
“Why did Jesus wait 31 years before showing up on the scene to begin his ministry?,” Sr. Brigid asked me. “What was he doing all that time?”
I had to admit I didn’t know. Nothing in Scripture I’d read ever mentioned those years between the 12-year-old Jesus who worried the heck out of his parents by staying behind in the temple to chat it up with the elders and the 31-year-old who showed up on the banks of the Jordan asking his wild-eyed cousin John to baptize him.
Sister Brigid reminded me that Scripture simply says of that time, “he grew in wisdom, age, and grace.”
Quite ordinary. Or was it?
Then she shared that “ordinary time” is her favorite liturgical season in the Church year. And that she has found it can be quite extraordinary. She suggested that I, too, begin to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary of every day living. Which is what I have been doing as I hang out in liminal space.
I have no clue how much longer I will be here. But in the process I like to think that I’ve been growing in wisdom and grace. (The growing in age part goes without saying.) I’ve certainly learned even more about the word “surrender.”
There’s a kind of calmness that comes with surrendering. With nothing left to control, you simply let go in trust. You begin to pay attention more. And you notice the beauty, the sacredness, the God that is right here…in ordinary time.
These are some of the images I’ve captured since I’ve been paying attention.