Writing and re-writing this post, I’ve decided it could also be called: Why I love the liturgical calendar and how I find it incredible inspiring (read last post about breathing in):especially Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday and Easter.
Fair warning as you read: I am a Christian and will express myself in that light but I would like to add the qualifier that I do not seek to only engage with people who agree with me or have the same structure of beliefs – I want to know what you believe and why and I want to engage in conversations where we both learn something about each other and the world and maybe life in general.
So, without further ado, here goes:
I grew up attending church and was baptized when I was 9. I did not grow up in a church that followed the liturgical calendar (that I was aware of, in any case), but for the past 3 years we (my husband, kids and I) have been involved in a church that follows the liturgical calendar – a concept that was not even in my framework around how Christianity could be practiced – and I have fallen in love with this practice. Each Sunday the Worship Guide at our church has a subtitle which identifies the time of year: Epiphany, Transfiguration, Lent, Easter,Ordinary Time, Advent, Christmas. Besides a heading to our service, these times of year are reflected in the sermons and the books we listen to and read together. Even more importantly, the following of this calendar and the awareness of its being placed directly in the path of my daily life gives me center from which all of my actions can radiate. Centering my time keeping around a calendar which is centered around the life, death and resurrection of Christ keeps me focused on the fact that my life is meant to somehow mirror that example. I am meant, in living and creating, to extend the “kingdom” of God and help it to flourish.
– Time Out – this does not mean I’m a creepy, judge everyone, insist that my only way of believing is the ONLY way to believe, or that I think that life on Earth is just a means to end and will be left behind so we can live happily in heaven ( I could write for days about how I think this living of life is all part of living into the heaven available to us on earth, but that is for another topic). This likewise doesn’t mean that I plan to reference Jesus in every movement of my day, nor do I plan to be that person who is quoting scripture to highlight my daily life – I honestly don’t know enough scripture, nor do I think this would be very helpful as I’d have to life quite a lot of those verses from their context in order to apply them to my life….
-Time In –
Okay, my purpose laid out – how can all of this have anything to do with creativity and it’s centering?
Why do we (collective – you. me. all people) practice anything? Why did I practice piano so much as a kid? Why do I practice writing on this blog? Why do we subject kids to homework? All of this practicing is done under the assumption that the more we do something, the better we will be at doing that thing. Our mistakes will become part of our learning process, accepted or denied – realized – our gifts will become apparent as some things require less practice than others, and more importantly, we will gain a deeper understanding of the thing we practice and what our specific relationship and purpose is to that thing.
By choosing to practice my belief in Christ in a way that incorporates that belief into my very understanding of time – centers everything I do to the idea that I want to live my life more like Christ. The creativity that flows out of that is not bound to any certain art form, but can be seen through every action and word and arguably then through every medium (ideally right?) Work as creativity, play as creativity – Life as creativity. This is the one life we get to live – why not do it in a way that helps other lives flourish – making this world a more livable, loving, and beautiful place. Broken as it is, this world is full of so much light and life and shows God as it’s originator and allows us, with our skewed and imperfect understanding to see just a little of what perfection might actually look like.
This revolving liturgical calendar engulfs each one of us into a story already written, allowing us to write our own stories in between the lines; allowing us to become part of a bigger story. Inspiring us to live creatively out of whatever practice we follow. I am inspired and creating all the time, and I do this in an imperfect and broken way, constantly losing focus and generally feeling like I’m not “good enough”, but it’s nice to have a center and a practice that assures me that I am good enough and that whatever I do, has a purpose, whether I know it, believe it, or not.
Where do you find your creative center? How is it reflected in your life? Do you, like me, often miss the reflection?
*art by Katarina (age 7)