Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Falling in Love with the Ordinary

Last Sunday our friend Kari was ordained to be a pastor in the ELCA. One of the things the pastor pointed out in his sermon was that the word "ordain" or "ordination" comes from the same root word that gave us "ordinary." It was a great reminder that while we are set apart for the particular ministry to which we are called, we are common ordinary people. (Although, as children of God I would also argue that we are extra-ordinary, but that's perhaps for another time to get into.) Yet, how often to do we shun the ordinary as we quest to be extra special. To encounter the ordinary feels dull, or even at times as if we are settling.

Yesterday, we had friends visiting from South Dakota. We decided to go over to the zoo figuring their 3-year old would enjoy doing so. I got the impression we were right, he had fun. However, it struck me that one of the animals he was most fascinated with was a gopher hanging out in the goat pen. He has gophers in his back yard back at home. Here were all of these animals he could only see in a zoo and one he likes the best is a common, ordinary gopher he could see any day of the week. What is it about kids? When we brought our nephews to the same zoo a couple of years ago the same thing happened. They grew up on a farm, but they were most excited by the farm animals at the zoo.

I seem to recall Jesus encouraging us to have faith like a little child. I wonder if it's not time we started falling in love with the ordinary, the familiar once again. Maybe it's about time for us to recognize our call to ministry as being ordinary and embracing it like a child at the zoo, falling in love with it again.

No comments: