I admittedly do some odd things. Ask my wife, Dixie, and she could give you a list as long as her arm of things she’ll observe me do throughout the day that get her to tilt her head and squint a little bit. There are plain things, ordinary things that I’ve learned to infuse with my own silent meaning, affirmations, and inspiration. I’ve learned to enjoy many daily tasks by giving them meaning beyond their outcome, even doing the dishes. It gives life a more interesting flavor. That’s where the interesting stuff happens. One such oddity is how and why I tie my shoes.
Have you ever wondered if anyone ties their shoes in a specific order for a reason? Of course, the power of habit would cement any brain into tying one before the other, just to clear up some mental RAM, but why? I wondered this once. Is there a purpose to why Stephen always ties his left boot first when he laces up for work? I even went so far to ask people like Dixie, my closest confidant, and she looked at me as if I was off my nonexistent, yet metaphorical meds. I just wonder about these things! And if there’s not a specific reason now, could I give it one?
So I set out to write a script, of course. A short creed, if you will. Packed inside the 20 or so seconds it takes to tie my shoes, I’m able to remind myself what I believe to be true about myself and about the space I inhabit. This is what I recite to myself every single time I must tie my shoes, boots, or even don my favorite pair of Chacos. A single act, that as an adult, I must do every day to enter society, I’ve given space to remember my values, to prepare my mind for the present day, and to peer into the future with hope.
“I lace my left boot first to recognize my own immense capacity for evil, my learned insufficiency, my selfish agenda, bodily weakness, poisonous tongue, and moodiness. I address my inner bent toward chaotic tyranny and artful anarchy lurking within my own pit of hell.”
“I lace my right boot last to affirm the goodness I bear within the Image of God, my meaning and aim to commune with today’s Kosmic Christ, my value added to the world through an integrated body, mind, and heart. I balance and manage the potential for perfect order with the spontaneity of human life. I aspire to gratitude, contentment, peace; Shalom. I invite healthy habits, grounding peace, holy breath, the Kingdom of Heaven into this earth, through me today.”
“Here I enter the Risen Presence, the Logos, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And I take my first step.”
What spaces in your daily life could you claim to affirm, remind, and teach your soul? How can tying your shoes, scrubbing a sink full of dishes, or folding a basket of laundry become a holy moment? What’s important enough to your soul that you need to hear it every day? Meditate on that for a moment or a week, then do something crazy like write yourself a script for when you tie your shoes. There’s no reason that mundane tasks can’t be made holy.