john davies
notes from a small curate

updated regularly
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Heaven in Ordinary #3

    BBC Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 22/8/2007

    This week I'm talking about the idea of Heaven in the Ordinary. But I know that might be a difficult idea for you to accept, because we tend to think that ordinary things aren't heavenly at all, just the opposite.

    So much of our attention is drawn to the extraordinary things in life - the power of the media and the pressure of friends and family drawing us ever towards the exotic, the erotic and the sublime. So for instance at this time of year we have the urge to get away somewhere different, somewhere special. And every year it has to be more different, more special.

    Now we all need rest and refreshment, and holidays are a very good thing, if we can take them. My point is that often it seems that we treat the ordinary as a bad thing, something to escape from or deny. But we cannot escape the ordinary. It enfolds us and defines us. The ordinary is the arena in which we live out our lives. If we devalue the ordinary we devalue ourselves.

    Somerset Maughan wrote:

    For men and women are not only themselves. They are the region in which they were born, the city apartment in which they learned to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tale they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poems they read, and the God they believed in.

    If we value the ordinary - if we can learn to see heaven in the ordinary - then it might strengthen, empower us, enable us to reconnect to who we really are.