Ordinary Days and Extraordinary Lives

When I think about the ordinary days and extraordinary lives, I think of the funerals we’ve each attended this year of people we love and shared life with.  When the pictures are on the slide show and you see the moments of laughter and vacations, of beloved friends and family sharing smiles and tender moments, when you see a handshake and a certificate for a job well done, and the gardens tended, the children tended, the art lovingly crafted, the cajoling, the teaching – well, I can go on and on – but the point is:  a life lived in love with Christ and Community, filled in the Holy Spirit – is nothing short of miraculous.  It is extraordinary.  This summer is not ordinary, it is extraordinary even as we brush our teeth and put gas in the car and go about our normal routine.  It shimmers, beloved, with eternity, and legacy, and meaning.  It builds, brick by brick, into what we make it.  God’s all in to make it fantastic, so don’t settle. 

There are moments when the flames are evident and large and exciting.  I think of Emmaus retreats, and new ministries and weddings and babies – new life and life renewed.  But there are times when that flame is steady and present and faithful, like a warm electric blanket.  Because even the electric blanket is plugged into the source of energy.   The quiet hand held in prayer, the food dropped off at the food bank.  The laughter over a game of dominoes, a great run on an early morning, the sweet moments of brushing a beloved horse.  Figuring out what’s for dinner – again.  Keep going, keep at it. 

When you grow in your life in the Lord, when you affirm that Christ is indeed Lord of your life, all the graces and talents that you have become enhanced in the giftings of the Holy Spirit.  You bloom and grow in your place and in your space, not losing your own unique quirks and personality, but enhanced, revitalized and gifted anew with the breath of life.  Life in the Spirit is not a division of sacred and secular.  All of life is prayer, all of life is life in God, not just Sunday mornings and prayer time – but work time and soccer time and school time and movie time. 

Romans 8 reads in part:  So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! 15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.[1]

No half-lives allowed, people!  Let’s live our lives expecting God to move.  Let us linger long enough to hear God’s voice in our lives and see the Holy Spirit in action.   Put out your hands and hearts and receive – always asking, “What’s next, Papa?”


[1] Peterson, Eugene (Translator). The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Kindle Edition). Carol Stream: NavPress, 2016.