This past weekend held something extraordinary! T’was the marriage celebration of Prince Harry of England to his bride Meghan Markle, the American actress, seen by countless viewers around the globe. The elegance of the event was simply stunning and attended by royalty, celebrity and family. The sheer magnitude of the day, with its steep price tag of 45 million dollars, was truly mind boggling and beyond beautiful! It was a momentous coming together of the common and the grand.
As I watched the event unfold I was drawn to its grandeur; imagining what it would be like to become a royal as Meghan Markle had. I found myself dreaming of a life at Buckingham Palace with all its elegance and charm; being waited on and cared for 24/7. Jetting off to foreign lands and attending galas in full formal dress. Having access to experiences not afforded to the average person and the jewels…Oh the jewels! Every gal dreams of being royalty…Right?
But, I quickly realized that even those living extraordinary lives have ordinary moments and those living ordinary lives have extraordinary moments! In my very ordinary existence I am reminded of a quote from one of my favourite authors, Oswald Chambers. It says,
“The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening.”
I love this quote. Mostly because as a woman, wife, mother, friend and professional, running through my life from task to task, I often just feel very ordinary. I am no different than many other women on the planet. No different than any of you reading this blog.
I do dishes every day, fold laundry, clean toilets, sweep floors, tidy rooms, make meals, reassemble the kitchen and dust the house. I get up to an alarm, get ready for work, cross tasks off my “to-do” list, head home, only to do it all again the next day. I run the kids to their extra-curricular activities and social engagements. I book eye appointments and visits to the vet for our furry companions. And let’s not forget grocery shopping. It never ends!
Add to this the crazy pace in which life travels and the ordinariness of life can compound. There is often only enough time for mascara and lip balm on my way out the door. The church clothes worn on Sunday get worn on Monday to work for the sake of efficiency. My hair is coiffed the same way every day because there is limited bathroom time in the morning for experimentation. I still try to use the “baby weight” excuse after 18 years of motherhood for the added pounds around my middle. My younger vain teenage self would be appalled at my older ordinary appearance.
There are times I sit and watch an “edge of the seat” flick on Netflix, filled with wonder, adventure, danger, romance, intrigue and suspense. Or a documentary of an individual beating the odds or accomplishing a great feat. Both have the ability to leave me feeling somewhat small and insignificant.
There are times when special guests come to speak at church and share about their incredible salvation stories or their unbelievable opportunities to minister and witness. Again, I feel as though my spiritual story pales in comparison.
But, I must remember that in the ordinary moments there are so many opportunities to practice the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) with those I come in to contact with every day. All of those little ordinary moments along the way add up to a lifetime of incredible blessings flowing out.
The extra care given to removing a sliver from my child’s finger; the bouquet of bacon roses left for my husband when he returns from a meeting at work; the care package sent to my sister abroad. The door held open for the elderly man struggling to enter a building; the encouraging word to a mom in line at the grocery story with a squalling infant; the coffee paid for in the vehicle ahead in the drive-thru line. These are the ordinary moments that become extraordinary as I allow my character to grow and shine for Jesus.