Chiefly during the autumn months, a crush of holidays occurs primarily noted in the mercantile business.  Just after Labor Day stores crowd aisles with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannakah [small corner, greeting card section], and Christmas paraphenalia.  Some even hang tiny jack-o-lanterns from Christmas tree branches.  The great pumpkin, Santa Claus, the Menorah and Jesus sort of get lumped up together into a gigantic promotion to empty cash, build debt, and promote materialism.

Hard to get a breath as the walls come crushing in.  Difficult to find peace even when the stores are playing Christmas music and you are pretty sure you saw the beginning of a Valentine display peaking out of a storeroom.

The liturgical calendar used in many Christian traditions gives Ordinary Time–time throughout the year–the vast majority of the annual calendar falling between Christmas and Lent, and then between Easter and Advent, 33-34 weeks.

Thanksgiving falls within Ordinary Time, with its color Green, signalling balance, harmony and growth.

In the midst of this pressure cooker world ordinary time provides space necessary to live the Christian life without the secular, pagan, other theistic traditions, and even Christian holidays intruding.

Love expressed during Ordinary Time arises from within, sees the needs of others without the benefit of  Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter reminders.

So today, I am thankful not just for the Ordinary Time marked on a calendar, but for all the ordinary days with their ups and downs, without the flurry of having to hurry up, do this, act this way or that.

I am also thankful that NO DAY is ever really ORDINARY in the hands of an EXTRAORDINARY God.image