Gold is just a rock. Money is just fancy paper—or these days, even less—ones and zeros floating invisible out of our mobile phones with a little bleep. But then, mobile phones are really just a collection of sand, a few bits of rare stones, and some electrically charged lithium-ions and such. Even the hands that hold them are a mix of basic components like carbon, water, calcium, and a few other things.
When you really break it down, life itself is a collection of dead elements and minerals. Under a microscope, the colours and patterns of flower petals and butterfly wings are lost in a confusion of nucleotides and mitochondrion and smooth endoplasmic reticulum.
Paint is just a pigment. Music is just a vibration in the air. My words are just pixels on your screen. A tree is just re-shaped soil. My body is just re-shaped dust. Everything is common. Everything is ordinary.
Is there really such a thing? It seems to me the only reason we have that word at all is because God filled his universe with too many wonders for us to comprehend. Have you seen the way the sun reflects off of gold (just a rock), or shimmers across the waves (just H2O)? Have you looked in a microscope at the perfect order and efficiency in each individual living cell? Have you held a baby? Have you wondered at your ability to wonder, or lost yourself in the beauty of the dawn chorus?
When you really break it down, every single millimetre of this planet—this universe—is stuffed full of God’s wonders. The fact that he is so generous with his creative marvels does not make them less amazing, even if the abundance makes us less amazed (which is odd, isn’t it?). When God does something awe-inspiring one time, we call it a “miracle.” When he does it a billion times, we call it “ordinary.” Is that really fair?
Look a little closer, and you’ll see that “ordinary” is just another word for the miracles God decided to repeat.