We live in a society that values efficiency more than ever and assigns worth based on what and how much something or someone can do. Let's take a step back and remember how lovely a process can be.
My grandpa would spend hours in his flower garden. Knelt down on his little blue foam knee pad, carefully tending the vibrant tulips, pruning the roses and mending the blackberry patch my sister and I had recently scoured. After a day of seeing to his flowers while we dug deep into the dirt in the back corner of the yard, we'd clean up and anxiously wait at the tall kitchen counter for one of his signature root beer floats. Fancy glassware, long ice cream spoons and bendy straws. He'd line up the glass on the bar top and we'd watch from below, drooling as he carefully constructed each tantalizing treat.
But now I find myself and my days driven by productivity and final product. I multitask (often at the expense of quality) and let my to-do list dictate my schedule. But what if we made space in the day, in the week, in our work for ritual. A time set aside to be still and to be completely focused on one task. A task that may be practical and useful (preparing breakfast) or simply valuable because it brings us joy (tending a flower garden).
The word ritual is often used in a religious context as the church has always valued repetition as a means to revive and refresh mans weary soul. From The Feast of the Tabernacle to The Passover to The Last Supper, God's people are asked to set aside a time to remember. To recognize, celebrate, partake year after year so that for generations to come, God's good work was not forgotten. So that the story of redemption was told and felt.
Ritual invites us to be fully present. To observe and appreciate a process and remember that good things take time. It's an opportunity for your muscle memory to take over - "this is when we grind the coffee and wait for the water to boil and gently pour it over the fresh grounds... this is the beginning of a brand new day..." A full body experience. Rituals provide comfort -- knowing, for instance, that at the end of a busy week your family will be waiting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Take a look at your week and notice the things you repeat - how can you slow down that time and elevate the process? Elevating such simple or seemingly mundane activities gives us pause to remember that there is beauty in the every day.