It’s the middle of August, and as summer winds down for many of us it’s time to put the suitcases away, harvest what remains of summer’s bounty, finish our summer reading, and return to everyday routines.
It’s all just so…ordinary.
We are, in fact, in the middle of Ordinary Time—the season in the Church’s liturgical calendar that lies between the feast of Pentecost and the season of Advent (some churches recognize two seasons of Ordinary Time—Ordinary Time I between Christmastide and Lent and Ordinary Time II between Eastertide and Advent). It’s a long season, too—the longest, in fact. It seems fitting, though, because most of our days are simply ordinary—we wake up, shower, go to work, care for families, run errands, make meals, go to sleep…and do it all over again.
There’s no invitation to keep vigil, like with Advent, or to fast, as with Lent. There’s no specific call to celebrate, as with Christmas or Easter. And, oftentimes there’s no great burst of insight or inspiration, as marked by the Feasts of Epiphany and Pentecost.
But it’s also in the everyday that life happens—challenges presented, lessons learned, obstacles overcome—each new occurrence taking us beyond our edges and presenting the opportunity for more growth. If Ordinary Time has an invitation, it’s to stay present to these elements of daily life, engaging them with intention and looking for the Sacred hidden within. What so often seems ordinary then has the power to become extraordinary.
Here are 10 practices to make Ordinary Time extraordinary:
3. Make something (How about daily bread?)
6. Settle in with a book that has the power to transform (I have a few suggestions)
10. In line with our current Journey Book Club selection, get rid of objects (and commitments) in your life that don’t spark joy (more on that next week!)
Which of your own spiritual practices help make Ordinary Time extraordinary?