Before school started, I kept telling everyone at work how ready I was to start school. My guests and coworkers had to hear about it. My parents did, too. I was ready to get back into studying my music and embarking on the phase of life that is Applying to Graduate School. Here's how those conversations would usually go: Guest: Are you ready to start school? Sara: Yeah, I really am! Guest: Yeah, it'll be nice to get back into the routine.
Invariably, the response would always have something to do with routine. And for some reason, it made me uneasy. As human beings, we thrive on routine. I have a history of loving routine. I mean, I. Love. It. I've always dreaded a change in the usual schedule -- I tend to dread summer vacation, and I eagerly anticipate the beginning of a new routine with the new school year. As summer raced toward August, though, I couldn't shake my uneasiness at my guests' responses. I had this nagging sense of sadness at the addiction to routine.
I recognized the approach of the ordinary. I saw the familiar profile of the familiar classes and homework and go go go. While I do love to fill my days, as I watched the ordinariness of my day-to-day approaching me, drawing ever as it mounted the hill, I became a little disheartened. Don't get me wrong -- I love my everyday life! It is beautiful to me, and I know it is a gift from God. But some small part of me could not stand the regular-ness of it. Something about the ordinary made my shoulders slump a little bit.
As much as we love routine, don't we also hate it? I know some people that need to do something different every day, just so they don't get in a rut. And even for those of us who love routine, the ordinary is difficult, simply because it doesn't feel special to us. We want a life that feels grand and beautiful and full of joy, but in between laundry, homework, and driving to and from our million places, we do not know how to live that life. We crave beauty and bravery, but we aren't sure how to see it in the midst of our ordinary life.
I'm not going to lie to y'all: I got much of my inspiration for this series from my favorite books of all time, The Lord of the Rings. I spent some time thinking about stages of an adventure. This is the first: Ordinary Time. The regular. The everyday. But let me tell you something: it's in the everyday that we feel the adventure-call. Whenever we meet our favorite characters, we find them in the midst of their ordinary cares, their everyday people, their regular tasks. But they are not content. And neither are we. They may not know it, but we do: they long for something more. Something in them knows they were meant for something greater. They could live long chunks of life without ever recognizing this deep soul-longing.
Oh, but then, something in them wakes up. Something is poked awake. Something comes knocking on their door. And they meet a version of themselves they never knew before. Suddenly, in the middle of their ordinary, they see something new and blue and brave and true. The change may not be great, but suddenly everything has a new shimmer. And suddenly, they know: I am made for this.
Oh, my friends, you, too, are made for this. It may not look like it from where you sit. You may only see dirty dishes in the sink, piles of homework, your planner, the bed you haven't made all week. You may see only numbers, only a computer, only imperfect, broken situations that you would love to change so you can answer that call that you know is in your heart. Here's the deal, though. Adventure comes to us in the ordinary. And more often than not, it all happens in our ordinary days, too.
That's the purpose of this blog: to point to the ways and places God has given us the adventure we so deeply crave. Adventure comes to us in Ordinary Time. It comes to us in the everyday. I don't always remember it. In fact, I'm terrible at remembering it -- and I write about it! But the truth is that it's there. We just have to have the eyes to see it.
We have to wake up.
Jesus, poke us awake. Knock on our doors. Show us the version of ourselves that we've never met. We are not yet who we will be, but that doesn't mean we don't want to be that in You. Show us something new and blue and brave and true. The change may not be great, but show us the sweet golden shimmer that life takes on when we see the ways You show up for us and give us the adventure you've made us for.
For yes, indeed -- as truly as we long for it, we are made for this.