I was burning some scrap lumber in our firepit last weekend. There were nails and bolts of various sizes, and I decided it would be easier just to burn the wood and get the metal out of the ashes, which I did. I got out the garden rake and moved the ashes and charcoal around and picked up many nails and bolts. I raked a couple of more times, and picked up some more. After about the tenth time through the ashes, I figured I had them all, but on the twelfth time, I found a couple more.
I then started seeing twigs that looked like nails. I picked them up, and broke them between my fingers to be sure.
After probably a couple dozen or more times through the ashes, and a small pail full of nails and bolts, I gave up.
I thought that sorting through that firepit was a lot like going through our ritual. I’ve often said, as most of us have, that every time we see or perform the ritual, we pick up a new insight. It’s a lot like finding a new nail the 11th time through the ashes. Sometimes we pick up something, roll it around and see that it breaks – it really wasn’t a new lesson. But other times, we find a new nugget – an old lesson that has a new application because of our life situation and a different perspective.
It’s the ritual that differentiates us from the other service organizations. The ritual of our initiation and the ritual of our openings and closings.