Nothing Happened, Isn't That Amazing?
One day this past summer, as I was walking in Edinburgh, Scotland, I noticed a small plaque on the door frame of a shop.
During my days of wandering in Edinburgh, I’d been trying to pay attention to as many of the similarly marked historic sites in the city as I could, so I stopped to check it out. This is what it read:
On This Site
Sept 5, 1782
I admit that reading that plaque made me laugh out loud. The jokester who affixed it to the door frame even went to great pains to make it look old and worn, just like the many others like it across the city.
Of course, I took a photo of the plaque and then meandered on my way. But I got to thinking about it later that day, and I realized something that I felt was pretty important:
The plaque was meant as a joke, but it was a sign and a symbol of the glory of the ordinary.
You see, on that site on Sept 5, 1782, lots of things were happening. People were bustling about as people do. Merchants were selling their wares from storefronts; others were carrying fish and produce through the streets to be sold at Grassmarket around the corner…
Here’s the truth about life: It’s mostly full of ordinary things.
Only on occasion do we experience what we might consider an extraordinary moment. Usually, we try to find those kinds of things by traveling away from our ordinary lives, hoping to discover excitement or inspiration elsewhere.
There’s also a more profound truth about ordinary things: There’s immense beauty in them if we are willing to slow down and take a closer look. The ordinary can be extraordinary if we are paying attention.
I was leaving the grocery store the other day with my head full of tasks, and my eyes mostly focused on the few feet in front of me when I looked up at a man pushing his grocery cart to his car.
He pushed himself off the cart and clicked his heels high at that precise moment.
There was no one around him, no audience that he was playing to… the guy just felt like clicking his heels, so he did. Then he calmly began putting his groceries in the car like nothing had happened.
That moment taught me the power of paying attention even during ordinary routines, tasks, and the daily grind. God is everywhere. Glory is all around us. It’s amazing.
May you have glorious ordinary moments that speak to you of the depth of God’s presence in the world around you. May you find beauty in the mundane and moments of joy in your routines and tasks.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.