Little Brown Jobs. Definition (noun): Colloquial, generic term used by birders to describe small, difficult to identify birds such as relatively unremarkable sparrows. birding.about.com
Can a man grow from the dead clod of failure
Some consoling flower
Something humble as a dandelion or as a daisy,
Something to wear as a buttonhole in Heaven?...
O God can a man find You when he lies with his face downwards
And his nose in the rubble that was his achievement?
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1: 26-27
The average and the unremarkable
Any reading, beyond the cursory, of the christian mystics' writings shows, perhaps surprisingly, the lack of interest or attachment to ecstacy. If it comes then fine, if not then fine also. The desire to enliven at all times, to seek stimulation whenever possible is very appealing today, maybe it always has been. There is a desire in us to draw on the transcendent that raises us up or to embed oneself in the peaty ordinary things may lead to ignoring, denying or dismissing the other. Both strive for authentic connection with God within personal experience.
I just wonder if sitting between the plea, 'Can I please just let a mountain be a mountain?' and 'There must be more than this!' might be the one additional thing that mollifies the intense search for meaning. Written by the Catholic lay theologian and writer Friedrich von Hugel in a letter to his niece he simply asserts that 'God loves the average very much'.
What do I consider average in my day and life? What is my relationship to the unremarkable? Do I shun it, deny it, reel away? What might He think also of achievement, of failure, of boredom? I am now curious about my buttonhole.