Thursday, January 28, 2010

Living between 'Extraordinary' and 'Heartbreaking'

Random thoughts for this Sunday's Contemplative Service.

For part 1 click here

When I stop and consider the question 'What has been holy ground for you this week?' my mind goes back to places where life seemed amplified above the normal. Those strange, unpredictable moments of transcendence where it feels like God peeks through the clouds. An unexpected conversation. a sudden 'aha' moment of understanding. A flash of creative inspiration. All of these are moments when life is elevated from Ordinary to Extraordinary.

When I answer the question 'What do you want prayed for this week?' my mind goes to the low points. Those stories and situations that seem overwhelming. Haiti. My good friend Jo who's 7 month old son is having open heart surgery on Monday. All my friends who are coping with their parent's health issues as they age.

Most of my life is spent in the gap between Extraordinary and Heartbreak. Surfing Facebook. Going to work. Playing Boardgames. Cooking. Watching t.v. etc. When I think of the mundane things of last week, I think of cleaning the stove top (never a fun task), answering emails. Building furniture from Ikea. Doing laundry etc.

If every moment is spent on holy ground and every moment is has the potential to be a God encounter what do I do with the Mundane? The majority of my life is spent in the Mundane, so how do I meet God there, rather than just in the Extraordinary or the Heartbreaking?

[I've sat with that question for the last 48 hours and had this post 'on hold' while I've attempted to formulate an answer]

I didn't encounter God when I was cleaning the stove, but the next morning when I stumbled downstairs to make a cup of tea and I saw how the cooker was clean I felt a little touch of unexpected joy. Building furniture was not my favorite task, but the memories that it brought up of my dad attempting flat pack furniture and cursing the instructions brought a smile to my face.

It's not the particulars of the event that are important, but my awareness in allowing that event to touch me and point me towards those little moments of reflection, joy, longing, and even loss, that have become signs for me of the presence of God.

When you look back over the last week, over the mundane, the ordinary, what memories arise for you? How were those events holy ground?