The Importance of Ritual
We have suggested before that the chaos of our lives needs to be anchored by "the three r's" that reveal our true priorities: relationships, routines, and rituals. A recent article from the Wall Street Journal emphasized the point of ritual that Bob has been teaching at Redeemer.
Instead of struggling to be authentic, Confucius proposed another approach: “as if” rituals, that is, rituals meant to break us out of our own reality for a moment. These rituals are the very opposite of authenticity—and that’s what makes them work. We break from who we are when we note the unproductive patterns we’ve fallen into and actively work to shift them—“as if” we were different people in that moment.
When you hear your girlfriend at the door and make yourself go to greet her instead of sitting there absorbed in your iPhone, you are creating a break. When you make a point of ignoring your mother’s harping and solicit her guidance, you are recognizing that both of you are constantly shifting and changing and capable of bringing out other parts of each other. Instead of being stuck in the roles of nagging mother and put-upon child, you have behaved “as if” you were someone else. It turns out that being insincere, being untrue to ourselves, helps us to grow. (Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-college-of-chinese-wisdom-1459520703)