Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 5 - Evening Review

We do not want to be just ordinary!
Today, we were to notice something ordinary and to learn from it. This is a challenge, because we have a tendency to overlook things we consider to be ordinary. It is easy to overlook that which seems insignificant.

Not that mothers are ordinary, far from it!!! However, until someone is nolonger physically with us we can take that relationship for granted. Because we all are/have/had a mother and because this is the week of St. Patrick I offer you this simple and beautiful Irish blessing...The Blessing: Celtic Woman

Late this afternoon I had to make a CVS run. I admit, I did a terrible job of parking as I pulled into the lot, but I knew I would only be a minute and I was the only car parked along the south side of the store. When I came out, an SUV was parked VERY close to my passenger side. The woman, angrily began giving me "what for" when she looked up to see me standing in front of my car. I was a bit confused, because there were two empty spaces to the left of my car and five empty spaces to her right.She could have walked the few extra feet and parked in the next spot rather than straining to get out of her door!

But still, I had not parked well.

I silently watched as she worked to squeeze away from her door enough to shut it, all the while loudly berating me for my incompetence. When she paused to draw a breath I quickly told her, "I'm sorry. You are absolutely right, I parked to close to the line. I'm sorry."

There was...

which was almost eerie...

But then the most amazing transformation, the woman smiled and quietly said, "Oh, that's okay." and walked past me into the store!

I was baffled, and it was several moments before I realized my short apology consisted of a few very ordinary words, but yet they seemed to have been responsible for a complete turn around in another individual's mood.

What did I learn from this encounter with ordinary words?
  • Maybe the woman just needed to be "heard".  
  • Maybe by not reacting and responding with "I'm sorry" instead of "You idiot, why didn't you park in one of these other spaces...." I shocked her into silence.
  • Maybe...
But then, Joyce's suggestion today was for "my" learning, not to try and figure out someone else's mind.
  • I learned that I don't have to be "right". 
  • I learned that I can breathe and remain calm within absolute craziness.
  • I learned that two ordinary words may be more effective and carry more grace than any well thought out and well articulated reasoning or logic.
Joyce suggested we approach each person, event, creature, with two questions today. How are you my teacher? What am I meant to learn?

San, don't you feel silly when you
look like this...all puffed up...
Sometimes I feel like the woman at CVS was acting when I am trying to juggle too many balls or keep too many plates spinning. Sometimes I feel like that woman when I am worried how I am going to keep everyone happy - when I want there to be peace within my family, community, church...  Sometimes I feel like that woman was acting when I carry another's burden by trying to think how "I" can fix their situation. Sometimes....gosh I hope and pray I never look like that woman!

Sometimes I forget that God has not put me in control, that he does not expect me to fix all the problems I encounter through out my day. Sometimes I forget "I" may not KNOW what is good or bad. Sometimes I forget that God didn't give me the wisdom of Solomon. 

Sometimes I forget I can hold a situation/problem in open hands, knowing that God is within that situation/problem because God is "dwelling with us everywhere...We can draw closer and deeper in our relationship with God through every situation, depending on our attitude, our openness, and our awareness." (Joyce Rupp, Cup of Life, p 36)

Something else I remembered through today's exercise; there really is no such thing as "ordinary."  I can sit here, looking around me in my living room...I have glass canisters full of shells I've picked up along the ocean. I have books with varied colored jackets...and thoughts. I have a hand hooked rug and satin pillows. I have pictures of all those I love. And, I have a roll of scotch tape, some pencils, and post-it notes...all things that I touch in some way nearly every single day. I honestly cannot sit here and see anything "ordinary."

How often have you referred to a day as "ordinary"?

I have more than once, even KNOWING that each day is a gift from God and that we are not promised another such gift! If/When we awake tomorrow, that is a new gift to be opened and enjoyed. 

How often do you see a maple leaf, green grass, or a ladybug and see God?

That is the blessing of the Celts to us, a reminder that God is of everything. 

Even those places and situations where we question, "Where is God?" God is there. God is within the beautiful and within the pain. 

God is.

I wonder how many pages I could fill if I spent an entire ordinary day listing all the things I saw, smelled, touched, heard...

And then if I realized that record of all those things I noticed is only a small snapshot of that which is God.

Mysterious and Awesome God, what an amazing day this ordinary day has been! I thank you and praise you for the blessedness of this day. Amen.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. I was reflecting on the last few days of my journaling. I am very thankful for the opportunity to "make room" for the study. God is always present and available (kinda like my mouse) He is hidden in the dark, but he is revealed in the light. May I be open to receiving God's light, and may some aspect of my life today be the light of Christ for someone else. In addition to being filled with gratitude, I need to take on a gracious attitude toward others today. May I let the love of Christ be known. (And...may the mouse stay hidden as I get everyone in the car. I think the mouse or the mice or the herd of mice was following me yesterday.-