Monday, March 16, 2015

Another Ordinary Day

"Morning Has Broken"
- At the Desert Retreat House -

When I woke up this morning the first thought that entered my mind was that this was just another ordinary day- the same old routine, another Monday morning, the beginning of just another work week. I wonder how many other people in this country woke up this morning with the same thoughts in mind? 

In fact, my guess is that lots of people woke up today singing the "Monday Morning Blues" - if the statistics are to be believed, most people in this country are depressed at the thought of having to get up and go to work. Supposedly 70 % of the American work force say that they don't like their jobs very much - many feel depleted by what they do, in a rut, on the road to burnout. 

Lots of people believe that their very ordinary jobs are little more than "busy work," punching a clock, putting in time without ever really making any noteworthy contribution to society.

I suppose it's no wonder that so many people might feel that what they do is just too ordinary. After all, from the moment our kids enter school they are taught to aspire to "greatness." In almost every graduate speech I have ever heard, speakers have "charged" the fresh new graduates sitting before them to "go out into the world and dare to be different."

But the truth is that for the most part, most people (regardless of their jobs or careers) don't do grand, noteworthy things in their everyday routine work--the kind of stuff that gets reported on the news or published in the papers. 

Most ordinary people get up in the morning, sometimes they take a few moments of prayer or meditation, then it's off  to work or school where  they sit at computers or make their reports,  go to the endless meetings, or they wait on tables or checkout customers at the store. Others drive their trucks or clean hotel rooms or pick the crop, or see patients, or write sermons. They do their chores, take care of their kids, go shopping, cook supper, watch a little TV,  browse the web and then go to bed, hoping that the weekend isn't all that far way. 

For the most part,  every day for most people is just another ordinary day. 

So perhaps a lot of people aren't all that satisfied with what they do because they somehow have convinced themselves that they have failed in the noble quest of achieving greatness in life - they have failed to be different.

While reading a recent Buddhist periodical magazine, I came across this wise and insightful commentary on the gift of being "ordinary:" 

Being ordinary means giving up any hope that we might be the center of any universe. It means we don't have any coattails for others to grasp, no bragging rights to offer up, no exciting news about our great successes to be posted on a Facebook page.

It turns out that, when we honestly dare to be ordinary, the wisdom of the universe opens up to us. We get to watch for what each day is telling us and asking of us, heading off to work or school cooking a meal, maybe staying in bed all day to give a cold a chance to move on.

When we dare to be ordinary, we are able to notice more - a whole new world of miracles that unfolds without end..we become available to it all.

What a great gift it is to be an ordinary person, not to be on any center stage, no concern about what great feats to report on Facebook and never feeling bad because there is so little to report. What a great gift to be able to live the everyday routine of ordinary life, knowing that I am am simply connected to it all, open and available for a "world of miracles to unfold without end."

I went out to my garden after I got out of bed today, and instead of singing the "Monday Morning Blues" I sang a song of joy. The morning sun had just come over the eastern mountains and a glorious ray of sunlight broke through the swaying palm trees -so exquisitely extraordinary.

Don't dare to be different - dare to be ordinary!

Listen to my podcast: "Desert Wisdom"


  1. Thankful for this extraordinary day, and grateful to have been led to your blog!! :)