WHY BOTHER OBSERVING AN “OBSERVANCE”?
An observance. By definition it’s a “procedure, ceremony, or rite, as for a particular occasion.”
When you think about it, there are lots of them—a wedding, a baptism, a convocation, a Memorial Day service, a Veteran’s Day celebration, a bar mitzvah, a graduation, etc. And there are lots of things going on at them. Things you can learn from if you’re in a receptive state of mind.
An observance. By definition it’s also “an act or instance of watching, noting, or perceiving.”
At most “observances” we watch, but don’t note. We see, but don’t perceive. These “observances” take place, go on, end, and that’s it. Do we really observe? Do we really listen to the words being spoken? Do we really get what’s going on?
When you think about it, the very thing going on at an “observance” is life itself. Real people, real feelings, real commitment, real emotions, real memories…real life. Life is always going on. And life is precious. God is always going on. And you, who attend an “observance” are always going on.
Maybe the word “observance” itself suggests what is perhaps the most profound thing about them.
Author and literary critic Henry James wrote, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.”
OBSERVE! Be present. Take note. Be receptive. Learn something. At each “observance” you only get one shot to be observant. Don’t be lost. Observe well!