04 September 2005

… On abundance of the “ordinary”

The value of reading good literature such as a classic novel, history or a good biography includes seeing the rich texture of “ordinary” lives full of good and bad complexities. Most of us live lives of abundance in regard to the complex fabric of home, family, friends, church, work, material comforts, and recreation. Abundance is good when recognized as such but most of us grow dull to it. Abundance is a matter of perspective. It easily becomes ordinary. We take the abundance for granted and grow to ignore it. Our perspective of things ordinary results in boredom, indifference and ingratitude. We even feel deprived and entitled to more. But the fruit of faith in Christ includes discernment, contentment and gratitude so our perspective has moral implications. A good book can be a mirror to sharpen our own sensibilities about life—sensibilities that weaken or die if not stimulated—and grow our sense of gratitude for what we have been blessed with and our sense of responsibility as stewards of those blessings. From reading we can gain an objective view of the richness of the “ordinary,” sharpen our moral compasses and grow a sense of appreciation and gratitude for the abundance we are given. So let us not become “dull.” In our abundance, let us sharpen our sensibilities to things “ordinary.” Let us take up and read!