Be it going to the grocery and smiling at the new, very slow, checkout clerk or laughing when I want to scream at my children, doing the next thing is often the best thing to do. When the world seems to be splitting apart at the seams and the knowledge that nothing will ever be the same again hits, the seemingly mundane act of putting in another load of laundry may very well be the best act I can perform.
Ordinary tasks carried out in an ordinary fashion through the extraordinary love of Christ is what makes the next thing the best thing. I can't singlehandedly stop terrorism. Neither can I magically convince every person in the universe to cease from working evil. What can I do? I can wash dishes, make beds, scrub toilets, and prepare meals again and again and again with the love God has spread abroad in my heart. I can hold dear, snuggle close, tickle light, sing loud, dance free, and kiss long. I can laugh when I'd rather scold, smile when I want to scowl, and whoop enthusiastically at this blessing called today.
Refugees the world over would most likely tell me to stop chasing the exceptional, the extravagant, the over-the-top and embrace the sweetness of today. Mothers who had to leave some of their children behind when they ran for their lives would no doubt tell me to be thankful for a day filled with the ordinary mundane. None of us know what the future holds; be thankful for today. Our families are not burdens; nor are they inconvenient. They are immeasurable blessings never again to be exactly as they are today.
At the end of one's life, when a person stops long enough to sit down and look backwards through the years, isn't it the ordinary every day sort of living that fills one's memories? The smell of sheets mother dried on the line, the buzzing of the lawn mower cutting summer's grass, the noise of the sprinkler running outside, the smell of coffee wafting through the house on a winter's morning, laughing with a sibling, these are the memories one carries within. The ordinary of every day is what a person longs to return to so that these tiny moments can be treasured more deeply, lived more fully.
It has been shared that there is nothing like loss to awaken the realization of true worth and importance. Those husbands so many women complain about when gathered together? Bet those same women would be lost without those men they whine about today. Pretty sure all of those moans and groans, sighs and whines being spewed out in the presence of friends today would be deeply regretted should the unthinkable take place tomorrow. Clothes left lying in a dirty heap on the floor would be treasures held close should that husband not be here. Those muddy tracks through the house would be seen much differently if a beloved suddenly no longer walked earth's surface.
Maybe...maybe today will find us praying more, loving deeper, and holding our loves close longer. Maybe we do. I pray I do.