Learning to recognize the extraordinary in the ‘ordinary’
The everyday signals ambiguity. The everyday refers to those things we see everyday. But it also refers to those things that we don’t see, those things that we dont take any notice of, those things that are so much a part of our lives (directly or obliquely) that they somehow just blurr into the background of our lives unnoticeably as we continue living our lives. The man at the fruit stand in the corner, the car guard and so on. Even sunset. Its only at some odd moment that we sometimes take the time to ponder the stories, the histories of these ordinary human beings. And when you do take time to talk to one of these people you find that they are extraordinary people with extraordinary stories. When you take time to think of something as simple as a sunset, a sun that has set over the horizons for thousands and thousands of years, it is amazing!
The lives we lead today make those moments impossible or at best too far in between. For everyone, rich or poor, is caught up in the rituals of daily living, the hustle and bustle, the stress. So many things demand our attention, our focus. Purpose is a dynamic and ever-shifting concept, slippery yet there. We all have some broad idea of what our purpose is in life but how to accomplish it is a matter of one’s own imagination. We live in a world of opportunities and possibilities but also one of many foreclosures. In South Africa economic inequality nags at us everyday and we try to shake ourselves free or look away. We are implicated in it nevertherless and maybe that is why we ignore it. People talk about it, but that’s it, somebody else can sort it out its not their business they just out there making a living.
“Life is not getting any easier but we gotta keep on living” thats what The Good Brother Lazarus advised us in “Keep On”. But how are we supposed to keep on? How are we supposed to keep on “living” most especially? Because I believe that for most of us we are dead. Our hustles and bustles, our being ‘caught up’ has totally numbed us. We dont hear each other’s extraordinary stories, we have become narrow minded in our focus and purpose and can’t see beyond ourselves. We have become disspasionate and incompassionate human beings. Nature has become totally mechanised and so have our relationships with each other. What is meant to keep us living?
When was the last time you looked at a sunset? Its an extraordinary thing! It makes you feel alive, you are overwhelmed by a feeling of awe. You begin to ponder God, creation, purpose. Its extraordinary! Its particularly at that moment that all your senses are revived and you are totally alive. Yet its an ordinary everyday thing. And the extraordinary is around us everyday, we are surrounded by it everywhere. Its in the stories waiting to be heard from the people we encounter everyday with just a greeting or a nod. People have extraordinary stories waiting to be heard, extraordinary journey they have been through. For some just going to town to sell at a fruit stand has behind it an extraodrinary history.
That’s what keeps us moving on. Realizing that we are extraordinary people in an extraordinary world that God has made for us. We have power to change so much about ourselves and our world. There is still so much more to be discovered in this everyday world we think we know so much about. Peace to The Good Brother Lazarus
Brother Eleyejah of The Precious Jewels