Don’t Let the Extraordinary Become Ordinary

Extraordinary: exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable

This past weekend a few friends and I decided to pack a picnic lunch and head to some Roman ruins outside of Seville, called the city of Itálica. These ruins include mosaics and bathhouses, but also an entire amphitheater! The place we chose to stop and eat gave us an incredible panoramic view of this latter marvel. Two days before, I’d been talking with a friend from back home via Google chat about weekend plans and casually commented about our going to see these ruins, as if it were nothing spectacular but a regular weekend occurence. So I sat in front of huge stone buildings that have been preserved for centuries and enjoyed a meal with people I’ll be with for little over a month more. Suddenly, I was snapped back into the reality that the things I’m doing this semester are the opposite of casual, even if they’ve come to feel like every day activities. What a shame that it’s so easy to forget how lucky we are! What a shame that if we’re not careful, the extraordinary can become ordinary.

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God getting my attention, part two: the other day I was walking back from class with a fellow study abroad student, who suddenly pauses, turns away from me and interrupts our conversation with, “wow, this is such a beautiful view.” In my pragmatic hurry to get home and make some use of the rest of my evening, i thought, yeah, I know… we see it everyday. And then I stopped. IT’s not just centuries-old Roman ruins that are ‘noteworthy,’ but that same view from the bridge I cross when going to school every day, the one which left me awe-struck the first time I saw it has lost none of its aesthetic value. However, for me it has lost its novelty, and therefore I found myself loosing that wonder. And it seems to me that this can happen with the little daily blessings, too, not just the things one sees while studying abroad.

As the last month of my ‘remarkable’ adventure in Spain approaches, I pray that God will not allow me to depreciate the habitual things, because that in now way means they are not extraordinary.

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