"I find myself wondering again and again what it would be like actually to live every moment of one's life with an awareness of God..." D. Allen

April 13, 2012

Practically Speaking: Light a Candle


Remember the times we strike a match to light a candle as we mark an event:
  • Eucharist and liturgical,
  • Paschal and baptismal,
  • Wedding and ceremony,
  • Emergency and storm,
  • Romantic dinner,
  • Birthday cake.
Can you think of other times?  Lighting a candle is soulful, a deliberate ritual that causes thoughtful pause.  Bring this simple act into your daily reminds that ordinary is extraordinaryBreathe.  God is here, right now.  His light shines in the darkness. Out of the chaos of darkness, He created order.  Not only can you see a candle burn, if you are completely quiet, you can hear a candle burn. 

Try bringing this sweet practice into your family time.  Kids thrive on ritual, on setting aside special time.  Wait until all are ready to sit at the table for dinner, then have someone light a candle.  A moment of quiet brings attention to the now that is being shared.  Or, try lighting a candle for prayer time.  Especially for children (or ADD adults!), it helps to focus our hearts and minds on one object, to quiet wandering minds and worried thoughts, opening our eyes to see.  

Each time you light a candle, remember the romance and thrill of all the extra special times candles are lit: celebrating new life, celebrating communion, celebrating vows.

Ironically, as I write this, its Friday afternoon when our spiritual cousins are making preparations for Sabbath.  When the table candles are lit, the past week's worries, routine, and ordinariness are marked past.  For a single day, the all-sufficiency of God's grace is celebrated.  The mere idea is romantic and idyllic, even if it sometimes requires discipline and focus to not work.  Claim this sweet ritual as your own, strike a match and be in God's presence.