|Photo by Diana via Flickr|
Back up stairs and an arabesque up for the lunch box on top of the refrigerator. Take out the bagels, spin and pop one in the toaster, spin again and put them away. Slide to the right to grab clean lunch containers, turn and pour milk, pirouette and back to the refrigerator.
Every morning the same steps, the same rhythm, the same dance. The same words to coax them out of bed, through getting dressed and brushing teeth, the same words of love to send them out the door. Socks and shoes, coats and hats, every second a step of careful choreography.
I thrive on my routines and a misplaced step, the fancy footwork of an open schedule, often means looking up from the hard floor and wondering just how I fell. So I don't do it, don't improvise, don't risk, don't try new things. Step by step by step I glide my life across the floor, following the patterns I've worn into the wood.
And sometimes I wonder if there is more. More grand leaps of joy that leave me breathless, more dizzying turns, more ground to tread. Because I can get lost in the ordinary, lost in just following the same steps every day. Breakfast, gym, work, laundry, dinner. Breakfast, gym, work, laundry, dinner. So ordinary that I don't even really see it any more.
I know that I'm not the only one. I see you there with your babies, changing diapers, cleaning spills. I see you in the rush from soccer game to school concert, scrolling on your phone because this, THIS in the between times while you wait for things to start is the only moment you have to breathe, and this is the only way that you know how to catch your breath. I see you with your plans and schedules, trying to Do All The Things and worrying that you might not do them well enough.
This is what I want for you, for me, for us...
I want all of us, all the tired, stressed out, busy, searching lot of us, to open our eyes in every ordinary moment and see the beauty that lives right there, right on the edges of our lives. I want us to see more, to love more, to live in the ordinary moments as if each one were extraordinary, because it is. Every moment a shadow of the kingdom of God yet to come and already every moment ripe with God breathing among us, walking among us, sitting with us.
Do you think that we can learn to slow down, to see the fingerprints of God as he traces them over the world? The softness in our child's hands, the delight of a toddler in a new found skill, the long-legged gawkiness of the growing adolescent, the ability of a teen to coax music out of an instrument, sunrises, sunsets...every single moment that seems so ordinary bumping up against the border of something that is extraordinary, every moment pressing towards the hope of things unseen, an echo of kingdom yet to come.
This is what I want from life...to be open to the possibility of dancing in the most ordinary of moments. Not with careful, measured steps, but with joyful abandon to the God of all things, the God of the ordinary spaces, the God of morning dances.