We were chatting on the Five Minute Friday Twitter feed a couple of weeks ago about seeing life amid the virus lockdown. I made the comment, “Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary … Every Day. Good days. Bad day. All days.” I’ll often include some version of that mantra when I sign books.
That led to suggestions from my fellow tweeters to read the book Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren. Since I was heading to South Carolina for a long weekend, I downloaded the audio version. It was just over four and a half hours long — a perfect listen for the leg of the journey.
Good choice, ladies. The book is filled with nuggets of information — sermons, really, camouflaged as witty, real life stories you or I can readily relate to. Or, in other words, storytelling with a message.
Warren is an Anglican priest. In this book, she makes the connection between the ordinary and how it illuminates the extraordinary. Chapters follow an ordinary day including such mundane topics as Waking (and how it relates to Baptism and learning to be beloved); Making the Bed (liturgy, ritual, and what forms a life); Brushing Teeth (standing, kneeling, bowing, and living in a body); Losing Keys (especially relevant given my experiences related to confession and the truth about ourselves); Eating Leftovers (word, sacrament, and overlooked nourishment); Fighting with Her Husband (yes, it is that real with the lesson on passing the peace and the everyday work of shalom); Checking E-mail (blessing and sending); Sitting in Traffic (liturgical time and an unhurried God); Calling a Friend (congregation and community); Drinking Tea (sanctuary and savoring); and Sleeping (sabbath, rest, and the work of God).
Often, I was with Tish in spirit, reflecting on my reactions to everyday events. No, I do not like making my bed. Yes, I lost my keys. Yes, I have had fights with my wife. Yes, I do get agitated when I’m forced to sit in traffic. No, I did not look at sleep as God’s means to refresh us.
I can’t share individual phrases that caught my attention because, as an audio book listened while driving, some of my attention was drawn to weaving traffic. Suffice it to say, however, there were enough of them to draw a glance at the radio and a few times when I hit rewind.
I do believe God speaks to us through the ordinary, the mundane, the everyday. And I do believe when He does, that ordinary, mundane, everyday event is transformed into something extraordinary. Tish Harrison Warren believes that as well. And if you listen or read her words, you will, too.
Liturgy of the Ordinary (audiobook), Tish Harrison Warren, author; Sarah Zimmerman, narrator; Publisher, christianaudio.com (Dec. 4, 2016); $14.69 or 1 credit: Listening Length, 4 hours, 38 minutes; Unabridged; English; ASIN, B01N51XRCI
Paperback, 226 pages, $19.99 (Prime); Publisher: ReadHowYouWant; Large type/large print edition (Jan. 16, 2017); English; ISBN-10: 1525233580; ISBN-13: 978-1525233586
Kindle, $11.33; File Size: 3399 KB; Publisher: IVP Books (Nov. 1, 2016); Sold by: Amazon.com Services; Language: English; ASIN: B01N2GWBNM; Text-to-Speech: Enabled; X-Ray: Enabled; Word Wise: Enabled; Lending: Not Enabled; Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The secret of peace is to give every care to God.