A friend was recently speaking of buying himself flowers and the necessary ingredients for a lovely meal he would enjoy at home in content solitude. It reminded me of finding candlesticks and tapers, waiting until the others have gone to bed, and writing alone by candlelight at our dining room table. Why do it? Because I think being intentional matters. Choosing our words matters, our behaviors, our actions and attitudes. If we are haphazard about what feeds them, then haphazard is what we will reap. If, however, we feed with intention, then we are more prepared to consider with intention as well when weighing our choices.
Sometimes writing by candle light feeds me...taking the time to find candles, find matches, watch the shadows, notice where the light falls on the page, feel the quiet of the house hush through and bend the flame. For me, to live with intention is to help create an environment of freedom. Freedom to rest, freedom to enjoy, freedom to feel, freedom to be who and how we are at a given moment.
And isn't that what good ritual does? An intentional act or series of actions that help us enter more deeply into an experience of being...being Church, being human, being made in the image and likeness of God.