Here we are, entering a new year and, if you are like me, hoping and praying for a better year and getting back to some kind of normal. I used to pray for an exciting year but now I pray for a peaceful and ordinary year. Yes, who would think we would pray for ordinary…
“’Imagine if you will – a gift,’ says Stacey Kramer in her TED Talk. ‘It’s not too big – about the size of a golf ball… It’s going to do incredible things for you. It will bring all of your family together. You will feel loved and appreciated like never before and reconnect with friends and acquaintances you haven’t heard from in years. Adoration and admiration will overwhelm you. It will recalibrate what’s most important in your life.
It will redefine your sense of spirituality and faith. You’ll have a new understanding and trust in your body. You’ll have a new understanding and trust in your body. You’ll have unsurpassed vitality and energy. You’ll expand your vocabulary, meet new people, and you’ll have a healthier lifestyle. And get this – you’ll have an eight-week vacation of doing absolutely nothing. You’ll eat countless gourmet meals. Flowers will arrive by the truckload. People will say to you, ‘You look great. Have you had any work done?’ And you’ll have a lifetime supply of good drugs.
‘You’ll be challenged, inspired, motivated, and humbled,’ Stacey continues. ‘Your life will have new meaning. Peace, health, serenity, happiness, nirvana. The price? Fifty-five=thousand dollars, and that’s an incredible deal…. This gift came to me about five months ago…. It was a rare gem- a brain tumor, hemangioblastoma – the gift that keeps on giving.
‘And while I’m ok now, I wouldn’t wish this gift for you. I’m not sure you’d want it. But I wouldn’t change my experience. It profoundly altered my life in ways I didn’t expect…. So the next time you’re faced with something that’s unexpected, unwanted, and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift.’
Ironically, it’s easier to count your blessings when you have cancer or some other terrible challenge than it is when things are fine. Most of us lead pretty ordinary lives most of the time, and that’s a challenge in itself, because it’s hard to appreciate just how extraordinary ordinary really is.
Whether in our own pain or in witness to another’s suffering, life is a miracle for which we ought to be grateful every day, because it could be otherwise.
The Polish psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik proved that when you show people a picture of a circle with a small wedge cut out of it, their eyes first go to the missing piece and miss the much larger whole every time. In the midst of pain and loss, it’s hard to recognize how much remains. If you want to change your life – really change – wake up to the blessed life you already have despite your pain.” (More Beautiful Than Before, Steve Leder)
May you all have an ordinary year in 2022. Let us be grateful for every day. May you especially be blessed with seeing how extraordinary ordinary really is. God bless and God’s got this!