I’m out of my routine today. I slept in, ate donuts for breakfast and now everyone is awake and moving, the TV is on and it’s way past 8am. I still haven’t found any space or quiet to listen to God yet today.
I’m out of routine this month. This is the second Sunday we’ve skipped going to church, 2 weeks in a row. I know that next week it will be even easier not to go, to find something interesting to read or watch on TV and to stay in my PJ’s and sip hot coffee. It will be even easier to convince myself that it’s ok and that we are busy people and we deserve a break once in awhile. I know that we will have been out late the night before and we have a football game in the afternoon and I know that I will rationalize the need to stay in bed, for everyone’s sake.
Being out of routine is dangerous territory…at least for me.
Routine is where I’ve learned how to seek God and find him. If left up to my own devices I will find all kinds of things to distract me and divert my attention from my relationship with Jesus. I don’t come by regular quiet time easily or naturally, it’s always a struggle. Years ago I started setting an alarm to wake me up early before the kids would wake up so that I could start the day in the Word. I hated it, hated it! I liked to sleep, I needed to sleep, I was sleep deprived! Someone told me to ask God to wake me up and if it was truly important to Him that He would not allow me to sleep past my alarm, so I did. Guess what? He woke me up! No joke! I really woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep, even if I tried. I’m not sure if that’s amazing or annoying?
The apostle Paul talks about this in the book of Hebrews. The title given to this passage in the NIV Bible is “A Call to Preserve In Faith.”
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
I’m not sure how I can offer any advice or wisdom without sounding like or being a hypocrite in light of the truth I spelled out for you at the beginning of this post.
This, routine, it isn’t easy.
Just because it isn’t easy, just because I don’t always live up to the standard and just because I have and will and do fall, doesn’t make this passage any less True. If we are to “preserve”(protect, maintain, care for, look after) our faith, then we have to establish and hold to routine, even when it’s difficult. When we find that we have fallen out of routine, we need to lay down our pride and give up our comfort and be willing to fix it.
We just do.
This post is a mirror for me to look into, if you want to look into it too, you may.
God will still be God whether I’m in bed, I’m in church, I’m at a football game or sitting in front of my TV, my position doesn’t change Him at all. What my position does change is my ability to…draw near, be assured, confess, be encouraged and spur on others. My position, my routine changes me, whether I like it or not.
Here is a song by Francesca Battistelli, that helps me open my hands, close my eyes and breathe in the Holy Spirit. It reminds me that a Christian walk isn’t lived in solitude but in the presence of the Holy Spirit and surrounded by the church.
“Let us become more aware of your presence,
let us experience the glory of your goodness Lord.
Holy Spirit you are welcome here,
come flood this place and fill the atmosphere,
your glory God is what our hearts long for,
to be overcome by your presence Lord.”