When we lived in Kansas City, one of our weekly rituals was to go to “Taco Tuesday” at one of our two favorite local Mexican joints. “Taco Tuesday” is an all you can eat buy one get one free homemade beef taco extravaganza. Although it’s been a couple of years since I’ve indulged in one, I can still taste the crispy fried goodness as the meat, cheese and corn tortilla all melted together in my mouth.
Although the tacos were good, I don’t think they are the reason the memory of “Taco Tuesdays” invokes such a deep sense of fulfillment and peace in my soul. Rather, it’s the memories of those who gathered with us on those Tuesdays that I cherish, and that still makes me wistful. It was sacred time among family and friends.
More often than not, we would meet my sister and her husband for taco dinner. The wait time was always fairly lengthy, so we had lots of time to chat and laugh and vent about our day. Other times, we would head out with my husband’s co-workers for a semi-quick lunch. Out of the church office, we could more freely share together the joys and struggles of professional ministry.
“Taco Tuesdays” became a little sacred ritual in our lives. And, as I think back on it, I realize just how formative those small “everyday” rituals can be to living out who God has made us to be. They give us the opportunity to stop, reflect, share, dream, laugh, fill-up, relax, and just truly be ourselves with those who matter the most to us. It’s in these “everyday” rituals that we are free to be who we are, that we get a sense of ourselves within our community of family and friends, that we develop the supports we need to continue doing the work God has called us to do.
In the United States, many of our “everyday” rituals revolve around food. But that doesn’t have to be the case. As you go forward with your family and friends, constructing “everyday” rituals that are meaningful to you, I would challenge you to think beyond the food.
Every Friday my husband and five year old have “Daddy and Stephen Days”. Fridays are my husband’s day off. So, he keeps our youngest home from daycare and they enjoy time together. They look at pictures of Newfoundland dogs online, lay in the recliner and watch T.V., eat lunch at their favorite pizza place, and run errands. It’s nothing profound or earth shattering. However, it creates a special bond between them they both value and love.
It’s important to note that most of our “everyday” rituals seem to be born from spontaneity. “Taco Tuesdays” started out because someone said, “Hey, lets go get some tacos.” “Daddy and Stephen Day” started because we wanted to save a bit of money on childcare. The sacredness of each evolved with time and repetition.
My sister and I both have zoo family passes. The Kansas City Zoo offers two special family zoo nights for people with memberships. The zoo is open until 8 P.M. and everything is free with your zoo membership pass. This year, our family and my sister’s family met up to participate in both family nights. It was a wonderful experience, and a great opportunity for some quality family time. I’m hoping this becomes another sacred ritual, albeit not quite an “everyday” one.
I could give example after example of “everyday” rituals that have been sacred time in my life. But my guess is, you’re already reflecting on your own spaces and places of “everyday” sacred experiences. I would love to hear them. More importantly, I would love for you to claim them and name them, to give thanks for the wonderful gifts these “everyday” rituals provide.
Blessings and Peace,