“. . . they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.” – Luke 2:39
As has been my custom these past fifteen years, after this issue Abundant Living will take a sabbatical for the rest of December, returning in January with a new series. So, as the year approaches its conclusion, as many of us do this time of year, I have been reflecting on the events of the past year in my own life, only to discover that nothing especially extraordinary happened. By that I mean we did not go on any exotic trips, no cruises, visits to foreign countries, or other adventurous excursions; we didn’t move into a new home or remodel the one we live in; no new grandchildren were born into our family; nor have there have been any major changes in our business or volunteer activities. Likewise – thankfully! – there is no significant bad news to report, no health issues, job losses, or tragedies of any sort; just ordinary life.
But alas, what is there to talk about in our annual Christmas card newsletter? Hmm! What about the first ever first-cousins’ reunion that we attended in Arizona last spring where my cousin Kitty and I saw each other for the first time in fifty-six years? Reunions may seem ordinary to some, but for those of us who attended it was extraordinary. And our home? It may look the same, except at least once a week it comes alive, filled with friends, food and laughter. And what about all the time we spend with our grandchildren, playing with them, cheering them on, being engaged in their lives? And the lives Tee touches each week mentoring in the public schools and volunteering at Hug’s Café, and the clients I have the privilege to work with in my executive coaching practice?
Contrary, you see, to the barrage the media subjects us to about high-profile people and major world events, most of real life occurs in the ordinary. Not that those people and events don’t matter, for they do impact us all. But it is through the ordinary encounters we experience each day – helping, encouraging, supporting, teaching, mentoring and influencing others in positive ways – that provides the ballast that keeps the ship aright, that prevents the world from completely capsizing – always has. Is it any wonder then, that the Creator of the universe, the King of kings, the Savior of the world – God himself – when he visited our planet two-thousand years ago, chose to dwell among the ordinary, whose humble parents after birthing him in a stable “. . . they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth,” an ordinary village of ordinary people living ordinary lives?