As a classic self-doubter with added combo bonus of overthinking, when I set out to learn about liturgies, last month, I was unprepared. Initially, writing a liturgy was a bit of a challenge that came about in my Mastermind group. While the other women talked about the books they’d read and their own experience with liturgies, I sat scribbling mental notes that looked a bit like Learn how to write a liturgy.
And so, I googled “how to write a liturgy.”
Then I scoured pinterest in search of the best, most straight forward liturgy how-to.
I kept my eyes peeled for some mystery webinar on the subject, which would inevitably pop up in my internet ads, as literally all things I search for do.
I had misconceived that I had to create some formal/fancy form or religious, old-fashioned poetry.
When I found no guidance, I began reaching out (subtly at first, and later full-on-begging) for ANYONE to tell me how this was to be done. I needed help…
But really, I didn’t.
I believed that I needed line by line instruction, and could list out a dozen (plus) reasons why I was not capable of such a task. (things like my lack of education, my disregard for traditional writing strategy and rules. Good grief, I hadn’t even known what a liturgy was before last month.)
My lovely friend sent me the book Every Moment Holy and, as I poured over the pages of beautifully crafted captures of often ordinary moments, I began to see myself in them.
In the cups of coffee.
In the moments of mundane uncertainty.
In vibrant sunsets as well as the eighth miserable day of Pennsylvania drizzle. Slowly, I began to understand this need that I have to operate on a level deeper than merely existing. I began to realize that this notion of liturgy could be my how.
I could chop vegetables for a stew, while being overwhelmed with the volume of pain I felt with each movement, because this body of mine lives in a constant state of such hardship… OR… I could choose to work through this place of intentional gratitude for my ability to make dinner at all, preparing the meal with love. I could choose to soak in the stillness of routine, coupled with the natural engaging of my senses, as I did the tasks before me. Suddenly, the basic chore of folding my husband’s t-shirts had become something so much deeper, and satisfying.
The truth is, I’m just me. Some super brilliant theologian could stumble upon these words and tell me I’ve got it all wrong. To this I may respond two ways… First, I may urge them to move along because everything here is not meant for them, and I feel complete peace in that. Second, while many may feel that my acts of doing the mundane in intentional and connected ways cannot be an act of worship, I kindly disagree.
Here’s what I know:
When my feet sink deep, into collapsing sand as the sea kisses its shore, I am my most authentic me. As the sound of waves crashing thunders throughout my very core, I am my most connected me. While the aroma of salt and life take over my senses, working together to form this entire experience, I am directly plugged into the very thing that fills me up. I believe this is God, and I begin operating on a wavelength so different than everyday life. For me, this is my truest form of worship. It does not need “praise hands” lifted high, or Chris Tomlin written lyrics sung from my lips.
When I am in a still, mossy wooded space, deep in the mountains, I am my most authentic me. With the morning, patches of fog littering the air, I am my most connected me. The gentle gurgle of a creek breathing life, somewhere nearby, can carry me straight into that same wavelength of centered connection.
The collection of these moments keep me going in the harder times, as I believe they are the moments when I was tapped into my Creator… In those times, I am made up up gratitude, love and serenity…
My reality, however, is that I cannot always take to the coastline or the mountaintop. What if I could choose some form of something in my daily moments along the way?
My life is not a liturgy. I am WAY too messed up for that. I am learning that my days however, can contain them…
(In the most synchronistic turn of events, I stumbled upon a 30 day instagram challenge, for the month of November, utilizing the hashtag #liturgyofthelittlethings. Already, just a few days in, this has been a centering practice during these days of anxiety and election overwhelm.)