A reflection on Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, by Tish Harrison Warren. Chapter One: Waking
There’s a sticker on the console of my car; it reads, Perhaps you were born for such a day as this. Pulled, a bit clumsily, from the Old Testament book of Esther – with the sticker-writer’s reinterpretation of inspirational soundbite meaning – this one-liner is supposed to make me think that this day might be something especially good.
Most mornings, as I climb into my car, jostling to get my lunch bag and purse and coffee and smoothie settled in their usual spots, I glance at the sticker and think something like, Hmmm… really? Today? And then I start my drive, at least momentarily imagining the possibility that today, out of all the days, might be important. Maybe I’ll engage with a stranger who desperately needs a simple moment of eye contact, or someone will ask for help I can give. Maybe my own path will meet a life-changing crossroads. I can get pretty grand and misty-eyed about it.
Or not. Sometimes I just drink my coffee and drive.
What I imagine Tish might say (I’m only one chapter in, but yes, the author and I are on a first-name basis), is that grand and misty-eyed or nonchalant, neither feeling is really the point. She’d say that every day we are born for such a day as this, not because of what we do or don’t do, but because, before we even climb up from that cloudy land between asleep and awake, “we begin beloved” (20).
Wait, just think about that because it’s a pretty life-altering thing to grasp. “We begin beloved.”
There is nothing wrong about my grand and misty-eyed maybes; making eye contact with that struggling person or listening for guidance on my path certainly do matter. But what Tish is trying to point out is that regardless of what we do or don’t do, want or don’t want, we wake up each day already living inside the heart of grace. Every single ordinary, monotonous day.
I think I’ve got a new perspective on that sticker now. And, yes, we were born for such a day as this, for such a day as every single one we get.