Monday, May 25, 2009

The Myth of Ordinary

Two-year-olds are the not always easy. My son weighs about thirty-three pounds and his method of not doing what he is told is to lie himself down on the ground--wherever we happen to be--grocery store, public bathroom, church hallway--anywhere at all. Peeling him off the ground while he complains loudly is not exactly my idea of fun, but it is well worth it. It is a small inconvenience compared to the daily reminder of how exciting life is.

For a two-year-old, everything is new. Everything is full of wonder. It matters not how many buses he sees each day, every bus is met with utter elation. "Mom, bus, Mom!" Only God knows how many times per day I hear "Mom, big truck, Mom!" "Mom, orange, Mom!" (Orange is his favorite color and he appears to have orange-dar, detecting the tiniest splash of it from about a mile away). "Mom, Start Engines, Mom!" (This is what he says when he sees a flag and is the obvious product of watching NASCAR with his brothers) "Mom, bird, Mom!" "Mom, choo-choo, Mom!" "Mom, airplane, Mom!" Yes, every observation is introduced and concluded with my name. Every single time. And I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it! Sam's joy is contagious. His enthusiasm endearing. But we lose that sense of awe pretty quickly; my older boys are mostly past bus-sighting elation.

C.S. Lewis's Uncle Screwtape addressed this precise issue with the demon-in-training. He told him to "Keep pressing home...the ordinariness of things." Have you ever thought about that? Does God want us to be bored in this life, to think people, places and things are ordinary? Of course not! Why do you think there is so much variation in His creation? It's for our enjoyment and His glory, and I think Sam's assessment of life is close to the heart of God. I think we should be absolutely ecstatic that we get to enjoy His majesty through Creation, through each person made in His image, through the many blessings that we enjoy in this life, physical and emotional. I love that Tommy Walker song that says, "He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call." If Eeyore has infected your attitude, if you've been thinking everything is ordinary and less than exciting, try reminding yourself that the Loving God of the Universe knows your name!

My niece, Caitlin, and I were talking yesterday morning over coffee. Not knowing what I was blogging about this week, she started telling me about a song she'd heard last week called Holy Now by Peter Mayer. Here is the link. The lyrics relate so well to this post. It is all about perspective. One stanza says:

Wine from water is not so small
But an even better magic trick
Is that anything is here at all
So the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn't one

Miracles are everywhere. Ordinary is a myth. But like so many things we cannot in our own power just decide to appreciate the glory of God. Instead we need to pray that God will open our eyes and our hearts.

This week may we be like Sam, easily elated, and like the Psalmist who said "Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders." (Psalm 119: 27).

3 comments:

Anne L.B. said...

Oh how beautifully you've explained the need to take joy in ordinary moments. Thank you.

LoLo said...

Oh, how I DO miss the constant chatter of a thoroughly enchanted little one! How I ache for Brett to be able to see and marvel in the same way.
It's funny that I started my blog this week (I've yet to finish it)talking about the infectiousness of Caitlin's enthusiasm...her enthusiasm (about just about everything) has added an incalculable fullness to my life.

Anonymous said...

"wonder is that feeling that we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. i don't think there is any better worship than wonder." -donald miller. :)