• 39°

When the ordinary is extraordinary

I have failed to recognize until now the ordinary days we live are extraordinary days. Anthony Robbins says, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little bit of “extra.” The extra things we do every day make life extraordinary. I want another helping of my everyday life because it is truly extraordinary. One more day to live is a treat! We must appreciate the small stuff. There are hundreds of things in our lives which we take for granted. Sometimes because we accept them as “ordinary” we fail to appreciate how fortunate we are to have them. While I get that the word extraordinary means something is “extra” ordinary and there’s cause for celebrating it, I also believe we can and should celebrate the ordinary. Even though we feel ordinary is mediocre, average, or normal doesn’t mean we cannot celebrate its presence because in all reality the ordinary is the extraordinary!
It is so easy to think that for something to be considered extraordinary that it must be new, different, expensive, or completely out of the ordinary. This pandemic has made me realize that the small ordinary things like shaking someone’s hand, giving or receiving hugs, or singing in the choir was extraordinary. My wife shared a song with me the other day entitled: “Tuesdays” by Jake Scott. Here are a few of the lyrics:
Love is the Tuesdays
It’s breakfast thrown together
While she’s sleeping in your old high school sweater
And you’ve never seen anything better
It’s the season three you’re watching
A little bit of evening walking
Sitting with your best friend talking, oh Love is the Tuesdays
As I listened to these lyrics, I thought about all the simplistic things in life that I love so much but take for granted. These ordinary things like rushing out the door for work, sitting on the front porch with my family, playing basketball in the driveway with my son, taking the dogs for a walk, snuggling up in the recliner on a rainy and cold evening in a warm and dry home, and my list could just keep going and so could yours! These are the extraordinary things that make life worth living. I am grateful for vacations and trips to wonderful places, but the small everyday things make life beautiful. Extraordinary things are ending the day in my right mind, being able to sustain a living, safely waking up in the morning, and the physical ability to get out of bed! I thank God that I can do those things. My life is extraordinary!
In a study conducted of 200 people between the ages of 19 and 79 as to what their happy experiences were (both ordinary and extraordinary) they discovered that although all ages enjoyed both types of experiences they found that the older people received greater pleasure from what might be considered ordinary experiences. Activities such as spending time with family, walking in the park, organizing a closet were just some of the examples. They also found that the joy found from ordinary versus extraordinary experiences is influenced by how much time a person feels they have left to live. People who believe they have an endless amount of time left (typically younger people) tended to take the day to day things for granted versus those who felt they didn’t have an endless amount of time. As we age, the small things begin to have more weight in our lives and mean more because we feel that time is of the essence. We do not have to age to begin to appreciate the ordinary things in life and see them as extraordinary!
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” God commanded us to give thanks in everything, so I do believe he wants us to see the small everyday things in our life as extraordinary and for us to give him praise continually. Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:” If we cannot seem to enjoy the small things in life and rejoice in them, I do not expect us to rejoice in what we consider to be the larger things! Look around you at the very moment and you see that you are living an extraordinary life with people who love and care for you deeply. There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every breath we take and every heartbeat is an extraordinary miracle that we should celebrate!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)