Laura K. Roland ponders how our ordinary work is an opening for God to do extraordinary things.
We are now in ordinary time in the Liturgical Calendar – a season in which the Church doesn’t have any special celebrations or time set aside in preparation for Jesus, either as the infant entering our lives in a manger, or the 33-year-old leaving our world taking our sins with Him.
For some, this time of ordinariness feels like a post-holiday letdown; for others [slowly raising my hand here], ordinary time brings a sense of calm and peace, a time to take a breath. A season to get back to doing the ordinary everyday work God has created just for me to do.
While any day of the Liturgical Year, even Christmas or Easter, Pentecost or Christ the King can be ordinary, we have officially termed 225 days in our calendar as Ordinary. That’s 225 times to search for what stirs us, what makes our hearts rise, how to grow. To discover what God is inviting us to do.
I find that quite exciting.
Figuring out just what to do with these ordinary days requires that we first understand that God has called each of us, in our own ordinariness, to rise and grow in the way He has set aside for us. This is hard work because most of the time we feel that others – but never us – are called to greatness. The lies that tell us we are just an ordinary person can create a confusing sense of emptiness, loneliness, of being unseen. Buying into those lies validates our fear that we are just not special enough, therefore, God doesn’t have a plan for us. After all He wouldn’t call the ordinary to rise and grow so they can accomplish mighty things here on earth, would He?
Or would He?
The answer is that He does indeed invite ordinary people all the time. Look at the saints; look at Salvation History. The invitations to rise and do His work are extended to each of us even to this day. No matter the season of life you find yourself, you’ve been invited. How you answer that invitation? It all depends on how you look at what He’s inviting you to do.
Are you rocking those babies in the middle of the night, driving your elderly family members to and from countless medical appointments, bringing dinner to a neighbor who is in need, stretching your food budget until the last piece of bread and two eggs somehow becomes breakfast for dinner? He’s called you to that.
Are you checking in on friends and family, to just listen, being intentional with your time and your wisdom? How about that promise made – and kept – to pray for someone who is suffering? That’s at His invitation.
Do you find yourself looking into the eyes of your spouse or your children and reminding them they are loved? That’s an urging on your heart put there by God.
Do you assist or organize countless bake sales, fundraisers, Bingo nights and clothing drives? Can you see God’s invitation there, too?
The truth is that with each yes to His invitation to do this work, you love as you are loved, in the everyday, ordinary moments that makes us human. You are, quite literally, His hands and feet here on earth. You rise and grow, for His glory, with each yes, in each of those moments.
The beauty with each sweet yes to His invitation at a time, He is creating a new heart, a new wineskin for what He has planned for you in the next season in which you will bloom even more beautifully than you do now.
I find that quite extraordinary.
My prayer is that you will take some time, some ordinary time, and ask God to show you how He wants you to rise and grow in this season. Ask Him to show you how to use the gifts and talents He has given you and then pray for the clarity – and humility – to ask others for help in accepting that invitation. Trust that He is preparing them to rise and grow with you.
Then, as you step into your everyday life, recognize those ordinary tasks as an invitation to love as you are loved, to be Jesus to others in that moment.
That, my friends, is the power of ordinary.
Copyright 2021 Laura Roland
Image copyright 2021 Laura Roland. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Laura K. Roland is a cradle Catholic. She and her husband of 31+ years have 3 children and have recently added a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law to their ever-growing family. A former Catholic educator, she co-founded the women’s ministry Encounter Grace in 2018 and is a speaker, writer, mentor, and host of the new podcast, Short Story Longer.