At present, as a mailing from Christine recently reminded us, we are in a season of ‘ordinary
time’. It is curious, isn’t it, how a phrase can start us on a train of thought and reflection in
which God can speak to us and challenge us? This simple phrase did that for me.
Here in the UK, it is exam season, and I have a part-time job as an invigilator, overseeing
exams in a secondary school for 11–18-year-olds. This is a surprisingly complex task with
several procedures to be carefully followed and with pupils who have, inevitably, varying
levels of engagement. It is also unexpectedly physically hard work, spending several hours at
a time on our feet walking up and down various rooms, some of which are quite humid and
uncomfortable at this time of year.
It would have been easy to simply grit my teeth, be grateful for the extra income, and wait
for the time to pass. In all honesty, at the start that was exactly what I did do. However,
thinking about ordinary time gave me another perspective. How could this task, so
mundane in some ways, be a way in which God reaches out with his hospitality?
Invigilation is not a role where you have contact with the young people, other than a smile
as they enter, checking IDs and collecting papers. Yet as I reflected, I realised even here
there is an opportunity to bless. Each session I invigilate, I find myself drawn to one or two
of the young people with an inner nudge to pray for them in silence as I continue my task. I
suspect many of them have no-one who ever prays for them. It feels an enormous privilege.
In addition, I remind myself regularly, through aching feet, that because the Spirit of Jesus
lives inside me, as in all believers, I take his presence, his fragrance, into every room in
which I work, and into every conversation with fellow invigilators.
There is nothing special about me. What is true of me is true of us all. Every one of our
mundane tasks in infused with the possibility for the Spirit of Jesus to be at work through us.
What an adventure that makes our everyday tasks!
Each Monday I write a blessing on my writing page on Facebook (Finding Our Voice, Held In
Your Bottle, Heroes or Villains). This was the first one I wrote, and it seems appropriate to
end the blog with it. The picture accompanying the blog, lest you be wondering what the
connection could possibly be, is a female mallard I saw in the sunshine yesterday. They are
often seen as very ordinary, even plain birds. Yet the ordinary can truly be beautiful.
God of the everyday
Thank you that you
Make no divide
May we be blessed
To see you in the mundane
And ordinary tasks
Which you have gifted us this day