Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ordinary Time . . .A Time for Extraordinary Courage and Faith!

“We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new.”
(Henri Nouwen)

Liturgically speaking, this time after Pentecost until Advent is considered the season of Ordinary Time. These are the numbered Sundays in the liturgical calendar with readings that reflect how we are to live out our faith in our everyday lives.  However, I’d like to take a little different twist on “ordinary time.”  Ordinary usually is defined as “common,”  “average,”  “uninteresting,” “unimpressive,” or “unremarkable.”  However, as I reflect on the ordinary times in which we presently live, there are many remarkable things happening in which we all, on this planet, are being invited to ponder, to pray about, and act upon in a healthy and just manner.

In his book, Deep Change, Robert Quinn writes that there is a difference between incremental change and deep change.  He states that incremental change is “usually limited in scope and is often reversible.”  Whereas, deep change “requires new ways of thinking and behaving.  It is change that is major in scope, discontinuous with the past and generally irreversible.  . it involves taking risks and means surrendering control.”  As he continues to contrast and compare the changes that happen on an organization and individual level, he cautions that “deep change is not something we need to do every day . . .but we need to do it more frequently than we have in the past.”

So let us step back into our inner selves, setting aside any distractions that may be pulling on our ordinary time, our ordinary thoughts, or our ordinary feelings.  Then with our extraordinary imaginations – call up all the ordinary issues of our time (across our planet) – that require extraordinary courage, integrity, hope, vision, faith, creativity, innovation, and compassion like never before.  Here are just a few to get started: poverty, health care, joblessness, trafficking of women, children and body parts, drug wars, abuse – physical, mental, spiritual, and psychological, global warming, homelessness, the rainforest, discrimination, lack of resources, obesity, famine, genocide, wars, global economy, water and food issues - to only name a few.

I make no judgments on these, but this “ordinary time” calls for all of us to do our part to risk being people of deep change - it is a time - "a unique opportunity to make everything new" – that is, to have a vision and to actualize it. 

These times are not ordinary – they are really  extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures of faith, hope, courage, integrity and love.  So together let us call upon our “Everyday God” to be strength and love in us as we live each new moment to begin again and again and again!

What incremental or deep change have you recently experienced?
Who are your mentors through this time?
Reflect on a time in your life you felt called to do more for others and to make a difference which called for risk on your part.
What are the learnings and wisdoms you hold after a choice you made to “surrender” your control and to open up with extraordinary faith, vision, hope, and courage during these ordinary times?

(Revised and previously posted June 2012)

No comments:

Post a Comment