“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Take Comfort in Rituals

Tall.  Pumpkin Spice Latte.  No Whip, Please.

Some companies know marketing.  Geico is one of them.  And then there is Starbucks. 

Take Comfort In Rituals. 
We were heading down the church aisle when a visitor asked if she could sit with me during service.
Sure, I said, but we sit in the front row.
~Really? Why?
No, not presents. Presence.
We used to sit in the third row... or even sometimes the second row, but never the front row.  But a few years back when our Senior Pastor took a position to oversee the Oregon District and our church numbers dwindled a bit...  Anthony and I took desperate measures.  We moved to the front row.  Anthony was a deacon at the time and we wanted our church family to know that we were staying... we were available... and we were very present.  We felt compelled to let our church family experience our presence. 

We have a new pastor now... (has it really been over two years?) and when Anthony's term as deacon ended back in March, we both had the same thought... Would we move back to the second row?  Should we move back to the second row?  Something that had a reason for a season had now become a ritual, so where would our place be now?  We struggled with the thoughts for only a week.  Because when Sunday came, we knew where we now found comfort.  In the front row.

Just wondering... Is there a ritual in your life that brings you comfort? 


vintage girl at heart said...

always nice to be in the front row showing strength.
i have many rituals myself..a little ocd at times :).
lately i have been praying for so many complete strangers and take comfort in this ritual...in the morning and at night when i am settling down.
with so much going on in our world i feel so blessed to have the freedom to pray to my GOD our GOD!

Deborah said...

Our seat has always been the 4th row from the back on the left hand side of the church. My brother would sit on the row in front of us and my parents on the row in front of them.

My brother and his family don't come any more and lately my parents have not been able to come. Sometimes I find it very lonely on "my row" so I have been sitting on the other side...just to shake things up a bit!

elizabeth embracing life said...

For others reason I too like to sit in the front row. I get distracted by haircuts, collars, colors being worn, fashion and for that reason need all distractions removed.

Holding something warm in the morning. I try not to, but I must have that cup of coffee, even if I don't drink it.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I'm thrilled with the change of the season and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks!!!!!! Head over; I'll treat you. As for other rituals...

Nighttime baths.
Daily walks/runs.
Bible study.
Evenings on the couch, knowing that all in my world are tucked safely in their beds (even though 2 are at college).

And Sundays.

I love Sundays.

For the record, I'm a front row sitter as well. I figure I'm closer to the altar that way--just in case!

I'll think of you tomorrow as I sit down.


Laura said...

I often wonder why it is that people seem to sit in the same general location each Sunday...myself included. It must be the ritual thing!

I always have to tell my children to drive safely whenever they leave my home...as if they wouldn't if I didn't tell them that! :-)

Sonja said...

we do tend to veer to the same rows too. I guess it is familiar and we feel good there. Maybe we are creatures of habit... maybe we will sit on the other side next week!! :)

a portland granny said...

I've been thinking about rituals which have lessened as I age, however, yesterday at church, we met in our "fireside room" because most of the men were away at a retreat. I found myself profoundly unsettled at this change of location and realized that my ritual is sitting three rows from the back in the sanctuary, which apparently is my comfort zone.

I found that in thinking about rituals, I had a hard time separating them from compulsions, of which I have many!!

This was good food for thought!!