Ever notice how November has gotten to be crammed full of noteworthy days? Halloween kicks off two months of a frantic pace of activity. Here’s a partial rundown of the last eleven days:
- November 1 All Saints Day and National Deviled Egg Day
- November 2 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
- November 3 Sandwich Day
- November 4 Election Day (sharing the day with Steve’s and Taryn’s birthdays)
- November 5 Guy Fawkes Day (AKA Gunpowder Day, for the Brits)
- November 6 Saxophone Day
- November 7 Billy Graham’s birthday (a big deal here in his home area)
- November 8 Dunce Day
- November 9 The 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989
- November 10 U.S. Marine Corps birthday (in 1775)
- November 11 Veteran’s Day
OK, so I didn’t really recognize half of these days, but mixed in with all the ones I did want to commemorate were football games and house guests. You’ve got your own list. We all share the added stress of Christmas advertisements starting earlier than ever before. Much too early.
When every day is assigned some title, it ends up making none of them special. The days that I most like to stop and reflect on their meaning get lost in the shuffle. For me, those are the days in which we remember — and appreciate — people for their courage and sacrifice. Thus, the miracle of God opening up the Berlin Wall so it could be scaled en masse is particularly poignant. As is the urgent need to pray for Christians who are being persecuted. And the opportunity today to take a moment to thank a veteran, those among us who are willing to lay down their lives for our freedom.
What is it that drives us to announce that our day, our email, our request is more urgent than anything else? At work, I see documents completely typed in boldface with every line underlined, sometimes even capitalized, giving the sense of the words being shouted. By making every word important, nothing stands out. It’s the equivalent of people (often young girls) putting exclamation points at the end of every sentence! The only way they can signal that one sentence is especially noteworthy is to multiply the exclamation points!!!!!!!! Like the boy who cried wolf, we have no way to decipher what really requires attention.
Why can’t we have ordinary days? Days that don’t have a title. Days to just be at home with no special event demanding our time. It’s OK to settle into a comfortable routine for most of our days. That way, when the extraordinary days do come along — and they will, we can treat them with the significance they deserve.
Let’s slow down. Catch our breath. After all, it’s just another day.
Or is it?