In my last post, I shared a few possible titles for my next book and asked, “If this were the title of a sermon series, which one would engage you the most?”
Some readers replied directly in the comments on that post, others responded on Facebook, Twitter, via email, or in personal conversation. I’m grateful for each response—thank you!
In the last two weeks, I’ve also continued to ponder, pray, and consider possible titles. Instead of relying only on crowdsourcing, I wanted to answer my own question and compare that with all of your ideas.
More and more I feel drawn to This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life. It was actually one of the last titles in my last brainstorming session. I didn’t immediately love it. I first leaned toward Every Day a Miracle, and liked it even more when one reader chose it and said, “I read it like “Every Day, a Miracle.”
But did the word “miracle” promise too much as one reader wondered aloud? Maybe Ordinary Miracles for Every Day would work better, or as another reader suggests, Ordinary Miracles for Ordinary Days.
But This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life continues to grow on me. It’s a rich title that opens many possibilities. I like the way it points me to the ordinary, extraordinary life of Jesus—both his “ordinary” humanity and his “extraordinary” divinity. I like the way it points to this ordinary, extraordinary life that we live—our ordinary lives of work and rest, of people and places, and the everydayness of it all, yet so extraordinary and filled with grace.
And how does this title rate in all of your responses? At my last count from my website, Facebook, Twitter, and other interactions, This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life is the clear favourite. Ordinary Miracles for Every Day and Every Day a Miracle take second and third place respectively, but even together they still lag behind the favourite.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that my favourite title so far turns out to be a reader favourite too. But crowdsourcing—what Lior Zoref calls “mindsharing”—still amazes me. Thank you for contributing!
I haven’t run any possible book titles by my publisher yet, but for now at least, I think of This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life as the working title for my book of sermons. The title could well change before publication, of course, but settling on a working title should help motivate and guide my writing in the days and weeks ahead.
In the meantime, are you ready for another question?
For my previous sermon collection, On the Way With Jesus, my publisher asked if I had any suggestions for the cover. I did reply with a few ideas for colours and cover art, but their designer went in another direction that was far better. Still, I thought I’d ask: If you were to design a cover with the title, This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life, what colours, images, or other design elements might you imagine? I welcome your feedback!
Writing/Reflection Prompt: If you were to design a cover with the title, This Ordinary, Extraordinary Life, what colours, images, or other design elements might you imagine?
For more on writing and other acts of faith,