Ordinary time consists of the calendar days in some Christian traditions which are not part of the Advent and Christmas season nor part of the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection and the Lenten period preceding it. The majority of our days are lived in ordinary time.
So why when I am living an ordinary day does something not feel right? I think it is because I have been conditioned (by the world and maybe to some extent the church) to believe ordinary is not enough.
In my hopes to get to the root of this taunt the enemy continues to whisper, “Your life is so ordinary!” I decided to look into the etymology of word ordinary.
While today it the word seems to primarily mean mundane and without any special qualities, in Latin the word ordinalis refers to regular order or rule. The very similar word ordinare, translated ordain, means to put in order while ordinatio, ordination, signifies to set apart for certain duties or to consecrate.
Piecing together these word origins and the truth in God’s word, “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10), ordinary seems less like a judgment of “not enough” and seems to more accurately describe being faithful in a routine.
While my days are often ordinary (have a certain order and structure), they are set apart and consecrated by God for the good tasks which He has ordained for me. As Brother Lawrence wrote about in The Practice of the Presence of God, the Lord is here in my midst in the ordinary moments of dishwashing and potato peeling. However, there is absolutely nothing ordinary about being invited into the presence of the Lord Almighty!