September 16th, 2020

ruth 2

Devotion

Wondering about this...

I'm inclined to respond to life with an attitude of respect, wonder, and delight. It's the attitude of the tea ceremony, where each item is handled with care and quiet joy. The atmosphere is structured, almost reverent, as the attendees soak in the beauty of the garden, the flower arrangement, the poetry, the tea, and the fellowship. Mono no aware. There never was and never will be another moment exactly like this one. And so it is appreciated and celebrated.

It's the feeling of standing up to read Scripture at the Christmas Eve service. I know that I'm bearing the Holy Word of God to the congregation. It's a sacred duty, as I, with my own voice, speak the words of grace and truth to those who are listening. And then, as we light the candles, I feel the flicker of the little flame lighting my face. And my heart fills with peace and joy as we sing praises to God by the candlelight.

It's the mode I enter when handling essential oils. These unique and potent substances which God has given us for health. If I'm not careful I can cause harm, so I have to drop one drop at a time, in just the proper proportions. But I get to enjoy the aromas as I do, ah! And I say a little prayer, that the Lord might use this for blessing and healing in this one person's life.

I've never really had a word for this experience, but in high school I called it appreciation. It's a feeling of respectful delight in the face of a thing of meaning and value. It's approaching things with care and handling them with love. Or it can simply be the recognition of the sanctity of this moment - whether it's pleasant or difficult, there will never again be this moment. In all of these, I sense the kindling of praise within my heart. Of course, I must be careful of whether I will praise the Living God or the temporal experience before me. I've wrestled back and forth on this. Do I snuff out this ceremonial tendency in myself? Or is there a way to present it to the Lord for His glory?

I think I've been clamoring for a long time, looking for a role to fit this reverent soul into. I didn't feel called to career or family. I couldn't be a religious leader. So what then? Wasn't there a role for one such as me? I still don't have an answer on that, but I'm giving myself a little space to reconnect with my own religious tradition and the Scriptures. Even if Jehoshabeath cannot serve at the temple, she can still treasure God in her heart. And that's what I'm seeking to do now.

Lord, You are the One who has entrusted me with this heart. It's been quite confused. Please give your little student peace and help me to steward this gift well, for Your glory.