An Ordinary Day

"God, please give me an ordinary day." Have you ever prayed that prayer? We go through ordinary day after ordinary day, and sometimes I think we expect more. We grow bored and we can't find anything to do. Life is treating us fairly well, but something is missing. We want excitement or maybe even controversy--something to make us know we are alive and the world is still turning. We do not generally long for ordinary days.

But that is not always the case. Sometimes we get day after day of first one dilemma or catastrophe and then another. The car breaks down or we lock our keys in it while the lights are still on. The washing machine starts crawling into the living room or the roof leaks. Maybe a neighbor runs over our cat or we learn that out our son is leaving home--or coming back home (it's all the same, depending on the circumstances).

Well, recently I have had a slew of extraordinary (or perhaps I should say out of the ordinary) days--days when I never know what is going to slap me in the face and I never know how to react to the slap. And, quite frankly, I am tired of those days. So this morning I asked God for an ordinary day.

To me "ordinary" means nobody calls me a hypocrite and nobody tells me I'm headed for hell. Nobody blames the demise of my marriage on my "weirdness" and nobody tells me I am handicapping my children. And one more thing: I can breathe through at least one nostril all day long and my lungs don't hurt.

I don't think all that is too much to hope for. I don't want to be able to buy paper towels. I don't even care if I can't buy cocoa so I can make the candy I am craving. If I can find enough change to buy milk and I have some beans in the cabinet, I'm happy. I just want an ordinary day. Is that too much to ask?

I know many people suffer on a daily basis. Many people can't even buy the milk I bought with my change today. And I will have money tomorrow--at least enough to buy cocoa. I may still be called a hypocrite, and my lungs may still hurt. But all in all I know I have it pretty good. I don't mean to be complaining.

But we all wear down, little by little, when we hear discouraging comments and when we can't seem to get a good word no matter where we turn. And we are not alone. Others out there are hurting too. We never know what people are going through, and it may be that one kind word from us will lift their spirits and help them make it through an extraordinary day.

Do we bring these days upon ourselves? Maybe, sometimes. Other times we don't. And does it really matter? Whether we're the victim of nature, the victim of another person, or the victim of our own actions, does it make any difference? We still need encouragement and love. We still need a kind word, a good deed, a hand to help.

"Let me be a little kinder;
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more.
Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery,
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me."
(Glen Campbell)

I am weary. But let me put myself aside and do what I am asking of others. Let me wish you an ordinary day. May you have milk and cocoa. May your breathing not be labored. May you receive a smile and not a frown when you walk out your door. And when you lie down to sleep tonight, may you thank God for an ordinary day.

Tina Rae Collins
October 24, 2006