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Most days follow a similar routine. And these rhythms provide a beneficial structure to our lives. To be sure, life becomes chaotic when everything is constantly changing and we don’t have a solid place to stand. And while rituals also follow a predictable pattern, they carry a deeper meaning beyond being practically useful.

To be fair, most of our habits are probably just routines. We do them because they’re functional and it’s what we’ve always done. And provided we have the freedom to adjust as needed in the service of love, many of these routines are benign.

On the other hand, outside of major life events such as weddings and funerals, most tend not to have many meaningful rituals we still hold onto. But rituals speak the language of our souls. 

Beyond mere practical rhythms to get through the day, rituals slow us down and reorientate our souls to a larger story. For instance, this might be sports rituals that remind us of our shared connection with others who also love the game, family rituals that honor the story of our life together, or religious rituals that help us find our way back home in our life with God. 

Whatever it looks like, rituals pull us out of our everydayness and allow us to reconnect with a deeper meaning and purpose in life. And this keeps us from becoming blinded by our own personal agendas. 

Of course, it’s easy to turn a meaningful ritual into just another routine – just something else we do because it’s what we’ve always done. But life becomes stale and brittle when we don’t accept these regular invitations to go deeper. 

In the end, routines keep our life functional while rituals remind us of life’s larger stories. We need both and must not let meaningful rituals become just another routine. 

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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