For two years straight in my life I wore no other shirt other than a white cotton T-shirt (baring a few occasional when I was told to not wear the shirt). I had thirty shirts and wore them all the time. And you know, I never had to think about what I was wearing the next day. Not one moment wondering what looks good, Not one moment wondering what the latest trend is. Not once looking for sales on shirts or having to try on any to see if they fit.
All that time I was not thinking of those things, it allowed me to think about other things. And it was in the course of those two years that I knew what I was going to study, what I was going to be when I grew up, who I was going to marry. I started the first ecumenical bible study on campus. Became the first non-catholic to work in campus ministry as a sacristan.
I would not attribute all that to wearing white shirts for two years, but when we ritualize our lives our minds are free to not think about things in order to think about things.
This is an important part of spiritual practices, They free us up to not think in order to think. For instance, some people may find saying a rosary boring and redundant. However, if you do not have to think about the words you are praying, then you are more able to see/hear what God would have for you.
Look at your own life. I am willing to bet that your "best" ideas have come when you are doing something some ritual:
- Brushing your teeth
Lent is upon us. I invite you to begin a disciple so that you might be able to not think in order to think. That you might be able to not see yet see. That you might be able to not hear and yet hear.