Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BLESSED (03/07/19)
- TITLE: An Ordinary Day
By Jennifer Woodley
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“Where to today, Jose?”
Jose ignored her, focusing his eyes on a gangling mongrel dog, scrounging for scraps in a fetid rubbish pile nearby.
“What?” he snapped angrily at Maria, “What do you want?”
Unperturbed by his mood, Maria asked again. “I’m hungry Jose, where are we looking for food today?”
“I don’t know” Jose answered listlessly.
He walked away from his sister. He was tired of making decisions. Tired of carrying the burdens. Tired of being the sole carer for Maria. Just plain tired. And hungry; always a gnawing growl in the pit of his belly that never, ever went away. What would it be like, Jose wondered to himself, to wake up one morning and have food right there without searching, always searching for it?
The sun gently filtered its first soft rays through white, lacy curtains, splashing its warm greetings over the granite kitchen bench-top. Benjamin emerged from his own queen-sized bedroom, rubbing his sleepy eyes and taking a whiff of the fragrant gardenias, in their full glory, outside the kitchen window. He opened the pantry and stared absentmindedly inside. Benjamin sighed. Same old stuff for breakfast: corn flakes, rice puffs, weet-bix, or toast. Why doesn’t mum buy something different? Benjamin wondered. “This stuff gets so boring” he whined aloud.
“What?” his little sister, Rebecca, asked as she strolled into the kitchen. “What are you talking to yourself about?”
“Ugh, this stuff mum buys is putrid. And the rice puffs smell off.” Benjamin added, as he took a whiff of the contents. “I’m so tired of having the same breakfast every morning.”
Rebecca stared long and hard at her big brother. She boiled with indignation. “Benjamin,” she said angrily, “have you ever wondered what it’s like to wake up on any given day and have nothing for breakfast, or for lunch or for dinner? You need to think about how blessed you are, before you open your mouth and complain about your first-world, insignificant problems.”
Rebecca walked from the kitchen, leaving Benjamin to mull over the truth of her words.
There’s nothing much happening today. It’s just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill day. We may moan that today is so dull and mundane. But even in the ordinary we need to be thankful, because somewhere someone is crying out for an ordinary day.
A day where there is no hardship, struggle, violence or poverty. A day when cool, clear water flows from a tap, rather than be carried four miles from a pitiful, muddy hole. A day when groceries are bought from the supermarket shelf, rather than being found in garbage piled in rubbish pits. A day when children can play in a clean, safe, quiet backyard rather than fearing for their lives as they scamper on roads crowded by noisy motor vehicles and throngs of people. A day when there is no threat of abduction, fear of terminal illness or the horror of imminent invasion. Some long for just a plain, ordinary day.
Even in our ordinary days, we ought to give thanks. And yet we complain that our little lives are so uneventful. Give thanks for the uneventful. Give thanks for the ordinary. Give thanks that our lives have the simple, plain comforts of ordinary living. Our thanks should be prolific. Our ordinary lives provide us with plenty of reason to give thanks because we are abundantly blessed.
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