Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ordinary Times

[E]

A parent's life is often buried in the ordinary. Fixing meals, doing laundry, picking up, buying groceries... the mundane... the repetitive... maintaining the status quo... fighting entropy (which is, of course, destined to win). Sometimes it seems as if the only break in the routine involves leakage--either a child's or a machine's.

(Note: The only leakage today was from the hypersensitive tear ducts of overtired children. Sleepovers are fine and glorious things, but there's a piper to pay the next day. The children stay up late and the parent gets the hangover.)

Why, I ask myself, am I doing this? Can there possibly be meaning or significance in the daily slog? I'm not unintelligent; I have a seminary degree. Surely I could be doing something else to serve the Lord.

But I am reminded that not every day is a feast day. In the liturgical calendar, ordinary time names those seasons around the edges of the highest holy days. And ordinary time does not mean dull or trivial; it means "counted," "measured," or "ordered time." And I like the idea that every chunk of time, every moment, is sacred. Those days that feel unnumbered and unnoticed, filled with innumerable repeated tasks, do, in fact, count. And they are counted, numbered, and ordered by God. He has called me to serve in these ordinary times.
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