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Life-Forming Liturgy

I’m an addict.

There, I said it for everyone to read. I have many addictions: food, watching TV, my cell phone, my computer, and shopping. I’ve always told myself, “At least I don’t have a drug or alcohol problem,” but having a long list of addictions is still a problem that gets in the way.

In the way of what?

It gets in the way of being real; leaning in to be in the presence of God. In reading Tish Harrison Warren’s book Liturgy of the Ordinary, I’m learning that my addictions are bad habits or rituals that I’ve become comfortable with in my daily living. We are shaped everyday by practices, rituals, and liturgies that make us who we are.

I needed to look in the mirror and set a new paradigm for filling my day. Transformation requires the honesty of authentic self-awareness. Tish talks about being a person who did not make her bed daily, but during one Lenten season, she chose to make her bed each day and then sit on her bed in silence. This time became her ritual which she used away from her smartphone, in reflection with God reading scripture, laying out her worries, praying, and inviting God into her day.

This transformation is a work in progress for me. God uses many tools to facilitate change: circumstances, other people, personal meditation, prayer, scripture, nature, sermons; opportunities to serve others. I’ve recently started a simple ordinary change of being still first thing in the morning; not turning on the TV, or opening my computer. I’m using this time to read a devotional and my Bible, or just to pray and talk to God. My goal is that this becomes a ritual, a habit, or my liturgy of daily living.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalms 46:10

I challenge each of you who are reading this to take time to focus on God in silence and stillness. Set aside time away from your busy daily rituals and be quiet before God and really listen to Him. In this stillness you will feel and know God’s presence that will enrich your life and strengthen your spirit.

Teri Naylor is a Walmart retiree who loves theatre, music and anything with the arts. Teri traveled the world with her husband and enjoys new and exciting adventures. As a new chapter of life begins, she is learning a deeper love of God and experiencing more spiritual adventures. She volunteers with Cooperative Emergency Outreach and Faith in Action.

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