Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Reflections on Ordinary Time


In the Christian church calendar, we’re in the midst of the longest “season” of the year, entitled Ordinary Time. Unlike Lent or Easter, Advent or Christmas, this time is considered nothing special—although there are certain special days thrown in, such as yesterday (sometimes moved to the nearest Sunday), which commemorated the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop (Luke 9:28–36).

And yet…is there really ever any time that is truly ordinary? If God only meets us in the present moment (as opposed to when we are lost in our heads, reliving the past or fearing the future), then how can any moment be ordinary? Isn’t every moment truly extraordinary—a gift from God?

Think for a moment about the quality of time that we spend with a loved one—especially if that time is limited for some reason. Don’t we consider every moment to be special? Don’t we tend to savor every bit of time together? And yet…isn’t that really just a mind game? Yes, we are focused specifically on our loved ones when they are present with us—whether it’s a spouse about to leave for military duty overseas or a child home from college for a few short weeks. But doesn’t every moment provide us with gifts, provided we are open to receiving them?


Admittedly, not all gifts are bright and shiny. Sometimes we have to look for the silver (or gold) linings in the clouds. But the very fact of our being alive, in this beautiful, complex world, is in itself extraordinary.

So what if we were to treat all our time as extraordinary? What if the “daily grind” became the “daily gift”? What if we embraced every experience, as everyday mystics have learned to do with such practices as the Welcoming Prayer? And what if we remembered to look for evidence of God’s presence, and gifts, every single day?


Author: Shirin McArthur

I'm a spiritual guide, retreat leader, writer and editor.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Ordinary Time

  1. Sometime when I am guided to read scripture, like this one from Luke, it seems like it’s the first time I’ve ever read it. Isn’t that a miraculous quality of the Gospels! Thank You!
    Yes, and most of the time in “ordinary” time I look up to see the sky and see what God has created for me at that moment. It’s always there for us to remember the great Creator is always with us. Though, I must say, in looking at your photo of the beautiful cross in the the sky, I secondarily saw plus over minus symbols. Had I seen this at that moment, I would have followed a circuitous line of reasoning- had you thought any more about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Lisa, I’m so glad that my insights led to a fresh experience of the Gospels for you. As to the plus and minus, I had not seen those, and thank you for sharing them with me. And in terms of circuitous lines of reasoning…that’s so often how my blog posts are created! I’m a firm believer in those circuits leading back to God eventually…. 🙂



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