This Sunday will mark the Christian feast of Pentecost. Celebrated since the 3rd Century, Pentecost commemorates the decent of the Holy Spirit onto the Apostles as tongues of flames. Pentecost - from the Greek word for fifty days - falls fifty days, or the seventh Sunday, after Easter.
I'm not sure why, but the coming of Pentecost has reminded me, more than any other Christian celebration this year, that our lives are cyclical, and the seasons come and go as if we were simply turning a giant wheel. I suppose its that there is something found in Pentecost, flaming tongues not withstanding, that is... its ending. After this the church falls into ordinary time. Ordinary time is what happens when God isn't being born as a baby or walking out of a grave or lighting our heads on fire. No, those things aren't ordinary.
Ordinarily we go about our daily lives and, unless we are looking for something divine, we probably won't notice anything miraculous at all. Ordinary is what happens when we arrive at work every day, do our jobs and then return home to fix dinner, read books and go to bed. Life takes place in the ordinary. While we celebrate these feasts as a way to remember that God is out there and the Divine has moved in unbelievable ways, I find that I am called to remember that the Divine is always present. Always nudging us in subtle ordinary ways. If there is one thing that I draw from the bizarre story told in the second chapter of Acts it is that we all speak different languages. We all experience the world in different ways. Life is certainly not one fits all, and if the story of Pentecost is to be believed, God isn't either.
I might be alone when I say this, but I have never heard a burning bush speak my name, or had a blinding light tell me to change. I have plenty of things that I am unsure of, but what makes me love and seek the Divine are the constant reminders of the generosity and mysteries of life. The poet reading their work, cheap wine at a not- so-fine restaurant, art in the gallery, and musicians in the park. The inspiring novel read at the bus stop amid gas fumes and the drawn faces of the passersby. I have done a lot of things that I regret, but they are also why I cling to the mercy of God's grace. I'm pretty sure that most people can learn mercy with out screwing up as much as I have, but I don't think I could have come to love God in any other way. At times my life has seemed insurmountable, but I mount up every ordinary morning and ride.