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Over the past couple of days, nothing ‘spectacular’ seemed to be happening, or so I thought. Such ‘non-activity’ left me feeling restless and uneasy. I was even ‘missing’ the moments of tension and conflict I was experiencing within in previous weeks since there was at least something to learn from them.

Then this morning’s homily struck the nail on the head: things don’t always have to happen in big, spectacular ways; even in the small and ordinary, like a tiny flame in the dark, a difference can be made.

This message was further reinforced by what I read in a book later that day: “one of the surprising elements in self-reflection and in guiding others was a strength or virtue that few of us seem to appreciate and honour sufficiently: ordinariness.” The book goes on to speak of a prisoner of war who survived his time of captivity and interrogations “because he did not either over- or under-emphasize who he was. He was at peace with who he was. He was… ordinary.” (Night Call, Robert J. Wicks)

This made me realize how God was teaching me to be comfortable and at peace with myself even in the ordinariness of life, and to see myself as a gift even in such ordinariness.

Reflecting on my recent experience leading praise & worship, it wasn’t my spectacular choice of songs, brilliant analogies, nor ideal choice of words and scripture verses that left the deepest impact on one of the participants. It was simply my firm yet gentle voice that spoke from my heart that touched the person the most. In other words, it was being my ordinary self that made an extraordinary impact in a way I didn’t expect.

Like the moon-rise that I caught for the first time in my life last week, it didn’t need to do anything spectacular. By simply rising in the ordinariness of the night, and allowing the sun’s rays to be reflected, it created such a spectacular view for me that evening.

Similarly, God can do great and marvelous deeds even in the ordinary events of our life, through the ordinary ways of our living and being present to one another. As our School Director likes to say: “We only need do the ordinary, and God will do the extraordinary.



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Featured photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash / PD-US.

Nicholas Lye

Nicholas Lye

Nicholas Lye is a Singaporean currently on a year's sabbatical from the seminary, discerning his path in life and striving to facilitate encounters with God in the workplace and ordinary life.

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