According to the Liturgical Calendar of the church, May 15th was the day we celebrated the Holy Spirit being loose in the world, also known as Pentecost. After May 15th we begin something in the church world called ordinary time. Ordinary time is the longest period of time on the church calendar, beginning on the first Sunday after Pentecost extending to the last Saturday before Advent.
Some church folks jokingly call this “boring time” because things seem to settle into a rhythm of routine, with no church festivals. Ordinary time did not however, derive its name from the idea of being boring or commonplace, but from the idea of order. Ordinary time is a time set aside to practice our faith, to grow into a mature faith in our daily life with less distraction. This is a time to practice what we have learned about God’s activity in the world, guided by the Holy Spirit. There is nothing commonplace, ordinary or boring where the Spirit is involved, you can trust that!
I don’t know about you but I like the “mountain top” experiences that come with Holy Spirit activity. I shun those experience of being in the “valley” even though I have felt God’s presence most intently when I have been there. Most of life however is lived in the ordinary, “in between” time and I am grateful for that. The “in between” time gives us time to catch our breath, explore our faith through our yoga practice at a slower pace.
During the “in between” time I find I am more creative in my yoga practice, in how I pray, worship and discern through asana and meditation. The most important thing I have learned and would like to share is that the practice of ordinary, “in between” time comes with far less distractions. With more time to truly celebrate the joy of God’s presence we are renewed and healed.
In Yogadevotion we remind folks that using modifications in our practice doesn’t make the practice better or worse, just different, and all modifications have value according to what our body needs. The same can be said about ordinary time. Mountaintop, valley or the time “in between” experiences are part of God’s created order. They all hold unique value for how we live together.
Taking time to BE ordinary is a practice at the crossroad of yoga and faith that encourages us in the abundant life Jesus promised.
These words were originally published on Yogadevotion's blog, June 11, 2016. Reprinted with permission.