Yesterday the Greenbeans woke up in Moab, Utah where we had seen the amazing Arches National Park the evening before. We then drove to Cortez, Arizona where we found the worst Denny’s restaurant in the world. After that we drove up Mesa Verde National Park and saw the ruins of the cliff dwellers. These ruins are very fascinating and I’ve wanted to see them for a long time. Last year we saw the pictoglyphs of the same people group, the Anasazi, in the Painted Desert. Now we were able to get up close with where they lived.
One of the highlights was when we scaled down a ladder into a kiva. A kiva was a circular ceremonial room dug into the ground with a sturdy roof over the top. The roof served as the floor for the courtyard area. I asked one of the park rangers how often an ancient Anasazi would have gone into the kiva. She told me, “Everyday, as a part of their ritual.” We don’t really know, according to the ranger, exactly what they did in the kiva. It had a place for a fire, a ventilation shaft, and some notches in the wall. I was very interested in the purpose for the notches, but the best answer I received was “for storing things.”
The practice of daily going into a kiva to do ‘ceremonial’ things, in a what amounts to a hole in the ground, informed my own personal ceremony. As a Christ-follower, every day I ceremonially align myself with the One True God by burying myself into Scripture and then lighting the fires of the Holy Spirit hoping to emerge from this hole closer to the way Jesus wants me to live. Hum. Maybe I need to build a kiva.