Our confession as believers is that our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. In a vast and grand narrative greater than any individual life, we are drawn toward a greater purpose than we could have envisioned alone—union with the very Lover of our souls. May our rituals reflect this purpose and point to the God who loves us and has called us Beloved.
When I wake up each morning, the first thing I do is brew a rich black cup of coffee (so strong, in fact, that my husband refuses to drink it). In the evening, I drink hot peppermint tea, a parallel—nevertheless reverse—ritual. At some point in the day, I try to sweat. I jog, walk, or take a steaming bubble bath. Each day I read something mentally stimulating (just bought Thiselton’s collected works on hermeneutics) and something creative (currently Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature). I have weekly rituals, too. By Saturday night, I’ll have written a new poem, a habit I’ve practiced for the past three years. On Sunday, I worship, observing the Sabbath. These are only a few of my rituals. Can you list some of yours?
Why These Rituals?
For most of us, ritual is implicit—embedded within our lives without much notice. Yet, even if you are aware of some of your rituals, can you answer the question “why these rituals”? Are they merely the pulp spilling out of your life, natural excess, marrow holding together the skeletal frame of your days and years? Or did you choose them, intentionally forming habits? Do they add symmetry to your life? Do they get you where you want to go? Do you like them? Or better yet, do you love them?
When unnoticed, rituals can feel like a natural part of a sequence of cause and effect.