More often than not, I’ll come to the end of a day and have a profound feeling of “WHERE DID MY DAY GO?” I look back and it seems I have nothing to show but a bunch of little spallter marks on the sidewalk of life.
My days are made up of soap bubbles of ordinariness that burst as easily as they are formed.
A little hand slips into mine as we are walking. This hand won’t be little forever. A floating moment.
A person in the next car smiles at me and with a nod, a small connection is made.
I enjoy the smell of dinner cooking.
Do these moments amount to anything? A stranger in a car is what I recall as I reflect on my day? Really? Where are the “important” contributions? The impact? The passion infused living? I do love the ordinary, but often she’s sooooooo ordinary (duh!) I can miss her magic and mystery.
Want to know what I miss most about my dad? Yes, I appreciate the big gestures he and my mom made – the phone calls to China when they cost a million dollars, their visits to China, the endless road trips to Kansas the years I lived there. But when it comes down to it, I miss that he’ll never make another pancake breakfast. I miss he won’t tell me again on a summer morning I’m home from China, “Good morning gerbil!” when I am on the treadmill. I miss hearing him laugh at a joke.
The extraordinary, is often made on the back of ordinariness. If my dad hadn’t built into me in the small, the big would have been empty gestures.
Next month I am attending the wedding of a dear friend for whom I’m a bit of a mentor. I’ve been asked to read scripture at her wedding. As a middle-aged single childless woman, this is an unexpected honor.
Years ago, we were thrown into the deep end of our working relationship and while I can’t go into detail, I can say this much: I stepped off the plane, returning to China and a new job and into a bit of an unexpected atomic sized mess. We weathered it, she and I, and the many ordinary moments afterwards – the work texts, the meetings, the time just spent together – step by ordinary step deepened and broadened our relationship. And now, I’ve been asked to read scripture at her wedding.
Soap bubble moment after soap bubble moment. Really, who gets excited about work meetings? Texts? Facing traffic? Answering the phone after a long day? Bickering children?
And it’s tempting to think that the REAL show in town are in the WOW moments, the big trips, the weddings.
Those are only WOW moments –and we need, them! Yes sireee, we need the wow too—but they are only wow because of the mystery and magic of the ordinary. The ordinary floating, bursting, bubbles of our lives.
When at the end of a day, a week, a month, a year, even a season of life I wonder What do I have to show? That very question may be a fool’s gold question. Instead, I’m trying to train myself to ask, Where was I present? What soap bubbles do I recall?
What soap bubble do you recall from this past week?