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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Rituals’ as in… the little things, the daily-ness of practice that creates steady progress into the rhythm of gratitude.

When you’re building a small retaining wall around your herb garden, you don’t complete it in one movement. The ritual of putting one stone on another stone gets it done.

When you’re committed to healthy teeth and gums, you don’t achieve your goal in one day. The daily ritual of brushing and flossing creates healthy teeth and gums.

When you’re learning to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” or, for that matter, anything by Bruce Hornsby, unless you’re a sight-reading genius, you don’t just sit down and play those pieces of music with ease. The ritual of taking each piece measure by measure, lick by lick, accomplishes the goal.

That’s just the way it is.

Rituals. We often connect rituals with more formal expressions like communion, baptism, worship, etc. However, rituals can be much less formal – even simple, but no less essential: practicing gratitude, welcoming silence, seeking margin, pausing to listen (sound familiar?). The purpose of rituals is to see ordinary daily acts as doorways to extraordinary experiences.

My lifelong friend Bob gave me what’s called a TouchStone. The TouchStone is a small, polished piece of glass created by the Portland-area glass artist Joe Becker. Many times, each day, I engage in a ritual by putting my hand in my pocket, touching that stone, and remembering gratitude. Each time I touch it, I’m reminded of my gratitude to God for the gifts of life, health, and breath. I’m grateful to the artist who made the stone. I’m grateful to my friend Bob who gave it to me. I’m deeply grateful for our friends and family, Nancy Lee, and our life together. Today, I’m grateful for the simple ritual of putting my hand in my pocket and finding that TouchStone. It’s just that simple.

That’s just the way it is.

Thriving Reflections:

++ What rituals do you engage with regularly?

++ How do those rituals help you connect with gratitude?

++ How does practicing the dailiness of gratitude help you thrive?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.



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