Each day, we take hundreds--if not thousands--of tiny actions, many of which we don’t even think about. We wake up, we make our beds, we brush our teeth, we shower, we eat food, we drink coffee and/or tea, we work, we workout, we [insert other actions or habits here]. This is our ordinary.
We all have our own version ordinary, a habitual way that we do things each day. Yours probably looks a bit different from mine in how we do things, but the things we do probably aren’t all that different.
In her book Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren explores how we can embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred. With chapter titles like Waking, Making the Bed, Losing Keys, Checking Email, Stuck in Traffic, and Sleeping, Warren walks us through how small practices in our days can and do form us. She then takes it a step further by revealing how she has personally discovered the sacredness of these ordinary, sometimes mundane practices and challenges us to do the same.
Liturgy of the Ordinary has been transformative for me by helping me shape a new ordinary, a sacred ordinary. I have to be honest, though. From an outsider’s perspective, this new ordinary doesn’t look that much different from my old ordinary. In fact, one might have trouble identifying any kind of change in my life based on my actions alone. What has changed is the way my habits and practices shape me. I’ve found a closeness to God in places I never even considered and an increased dependence on the Holy Spirit in areas I thought I was sufficient on my own.
I’ve found a closeness to God in places I never even considered and an increased dependence on the Holy Spirit in areas I thought I was sufficient on my own.
As we begin this Lenten season, it’s traditional that we fast from something in order to connect more deeply with God and recognize our dependence on Him. While I still fully support that, I also want to invite us into a “new ordinary”. Rather than focusing solely on the big, sweeping changes that often come from a 40 day fast, I hope that we can also explore how to recapture the sacredness of the normal.
Each week, we will spend time evaluating the things we do on a regular basis and how those things can serve as a springboard for deepening our relationship with God, deepening our dependence on the Holy Spirit, growing closer as a community, and serving the world around us.
Andrew Brewer has never swashbuckled with pirates, nor has he discovered the lost city of gold. Instead, Andrew spends the majority of his time coding things on the interwebz, spending time with his wife Jayne while trying to wrangle their two rambunctious boys, and guzzling dangerously large amounts of coffee. He also writes a few words from time to time.