Bear with me as I share (at least) one more moment from my recent trip to Hutchmoot. Each session was packed with such thought-provoking material, it’s hard to distill the weekend to just one thought or one blog post.
Andrew Peterson, along with his brother Pete, serves as the host of the conference, and he began our weekend together talking about the little liturgies we have in our lives – from the way we eat our breakfast, to the structure of our days, to the way we approach our work.**
**(Liturgy is primarily defined as a fixed set of ceremonies or words used in religious worship, but a subordinate definition in the M-W says “a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances.” That’s the definition I would like to use for the purposes of this post.)
Following Andrew’s opening remarks, I wrote down a series of questions in my notebook:
- What are the liturgies in my life?
- What should they be?
- What are meaningful ways to turn basic routines into liturgies?
I listened over the weekend as others wrestled with these same questions. I heard several people say that they don’t have any liturgies in their lives, that they don’t operate with routines and structures to their days. (Something I, as a creature of extreme habit and routine, absolutely cannot imagine.)
I do almost everything the same way every day, and if things are out of order then I am out of sorts. I follow the same order each morning as I get dressed for the day. I try to pattern my days a certain way – work, chores, errands, play all assigned to specific sections of the day.
And while it’s true that I need to work on my ability to be spontaneous when the opportunity arises, there is something comforting in following the same daily patterns, much as the week has a pattern of work-rest-worship, and the year has a pattern of spring, summer, fall, and winter.
God has given an order to the earth, and I think we do well to find ways to pattern our work play, worship, and rest after His divine ordering.
While I have the idea of order and structure down to a science, I often struggle in seeing the significance and beauty in the order. So today, I’m seeking to find God’s handiwork in my routines.
As I drink my afternoon coffee and type in the quietness of the house.
As I follow a recipe to prepare supper.
As I move from one task to the next on my to-do list.
In all these things, I find rhythm and order, and God is there, moving and working and shaping my days, weeks, months, years, life.
I’d like to begin sharing what I’m watching/reading/listening to/enjoying, and I hope you might share with me some of the things you enjoy as well!
Books: I just finished Watership Down by Richard Adams, one of those books that I’ve heard about and read about but had never actually read for myself (the plight of the English major). It’s very, very long, and while I’m glad I read it, I feel much as I did at the end of Moby Dick – I’ll never put myself through that again.
Television: We watch a lot of PBS around here, and this week and next week Masterpiece Theatre is airing Death Comes to Pemberley, a miniseries based on the novel by P.D. James. It follows Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy a few years past the end of Pride and Prejudice (the book most responsible for my love of English lit). I highly recommend it, especially if you like period pieces (I’m looking at you, Downton Abbey fans!)
Music: I broke out the Christmas music this week with Carolyn Arends’ newest album, Christmas: The Story of Stories. She is my all-time favorite singer-songwriter, and this new record doesn’t disappoint.