Rituals have been saving my life during this pandemic.
Or, at least my state of mind. I’m not talking religious rituals or anything weird. I mean the ritual of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and applying my various creams in exactly the same order every morning. Even the way I tidy our home is a ritual. The tasks at my desk. The chair where I sit to read and pray. The way I water our flowers. The same actions every day in the same order. Maybe it is more a rhythm of life than a ritual. This rhythm in the midst of a pandemic brings me such peace.
The ice-maker quit working. Now I have to fill the ice trays several times a day. That task doesn’t have a rhythm yet. It just gets in my way. Then the air-conditioner quit. Now I can’t work comfortably at my desk or pray from my favorite chair. I have to sit outside to catch a breeze or type around the tiny fan aimed at my face.
My wise and handsome husband sometimes reminds me that rituals can become an attempt to control things. And, control is an illusion. We are never actually in control of anything. We are at the mercy of a broken world. And we are currently being attacked by a deadly virus that is held together by grease. It spreads like fire in a dry field, even though it can be killed with twenty seconds of soap and water.
Fortunately, we are not truly at the mercy of such things.
Our big, broken world is actually safe in the hands of the One who created it. I don’t pretend to understand what God is doing right now. I can’t tell you exactly how Jesus is praying for us or where the Holy Spirit is leading us. But I do know this: God is in control. He may laugh at the little rituals that bring me comfort. But I think He understands. I think applying my deodorant at the same time every day could be a statement to the universe. It feels like chaos out there right now, but I know God’s order will prevail! His rhythm is perfect.
If we just keep moving forward – making the bed, writing the books, praying the prayers – Someday God’s order will be revealed in big and small ways. I’m counting on that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to flip the laundry.